Sanduleak -69° 202

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Sanduleak -69° 202
SN 1987A was caused by the death of Sanduleak -69° 202.
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Dorado
Right ascension 05h 35m 27.92s
Declination −69° 16′ 11.1″
Spectral type B3 Ia[1]
Distance 168,000 ly
(51,400 pc)
Mass ~20[1] M
Luminosity ~100,000[1] L
Temperature 16,000[1] K
Other designations
Sk -69° 202, GSC 09162-00821
Database references

Sanduleak -69° 202 (also known as GSC 09162-00821) was a magnitude 12 blue supergiant star, located on the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The star was originally catalogued by the Romanian-American astronomer Nicholas Sanduleak and rose to fame as the first identified supernova progenitor.

The discovery that a supernova progenitor was a blue supergiant contradicted all known theories at the time and produced a flurry of new ideas about how such a thing might happen,[2] but it is now accepted that blue supergiants are a normal progenitor for some supernovae.[3] Work is still ongoing to model how a star can explode in a supernova while at the blue supergiant stage, when conventional models show supernovae occurring while still possessing the extensive atmosphere of a red supergiant. Before it exploded the star may have been a luminous blue variable (LBV), during which it ejected its surrounding massive nebula.[1]

Approximately 168,000 years ago, Sanduleak -69° 202 exploded, creating SN 1987A, which was the first supernova visible to the naked eye from Earth since the invention of the telescope. Light from the supernova reached Earth on February 23, 1987. Four other LBVs (Eta Carinae included) might join it within less than a few million years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, N. (2007). "Discovery of a Nearby Twin of SN 1987A's Nebula around the Luminous Blue Variable HD 168625: Was Sk -69 202 an LBV?". The Astronomical Journal 133 (3): 1034–1538. arXiv:astro-ph/0611544. Bibcode:2007AJ....133.1034S. doi:10.1086/510838.  edit
  2. ^ Podsiadlowski, P. (1992). "The progenitor of SN 1987 A". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 104: 717. Bibcode:1992PASP..104..717P. doi:10.1086/133043.  edit
  3. ^ Georgy, C.; Meynet, G.; Walder, R.; Folini, D.; Maeder, A. (2009). "The different progenitors of type Ib, Ic SNe, and of GRB". Astronomy and Astrophysics 502 (2): 611. arXiv:0906.2284. Bibcode:2009A&A...502..611G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200811339.  edit