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[1]
Declination −69° 16′ 11.1″[1]
Spectral type B3 Ia[2]
Distance 168,000 ly
(51,400[1] pc)
Mass ~20[2] M
Luminosity ~100,000[2] L
Temperature 16,000[2] K
Other designations
Sk -69° 202, GSC 09162-00821
Database references

Sanduleak -69° 202 (Sk -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. It is notable as the progenitor of supernova 1987A.

The star was originally charted by the Romanian-American astronomer Nicholas Sanduleak in 1970, but remained just a number in a catalogue until identified as the star that exploded in the first naked eye supernova since the invention of the telescope.[1]

The discovery that a blue supergiant was a supernova progenitor contradicted all known theories at the time and produced a flurry of new ideas about how such a thing might happen,[3] but it is now accepted that blue supergiants are a normal progenitor for some supernovae.[4]

The candidate luminous blue variable (LBV) HD 168625 possesses a bipolar nebula that is a close twin of that around Sk -69° 202. It is speculated that Sk -69° 202 may have been an LBV in the recent past, although it was apparently a normal luminous supergiant at the time it exploded.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Sanduleak, N. (1970). "A deep objective-prism survey for Large Magellanic Cloud members". Contribution. 89. Bibcode:1970CoTol..89.....S. 
  2. ^ 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/0611544free to read. Bibcode:2007AJ....133.1034S. doi:10.1086/510838. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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:0906.2284free to read. Bibcode:2009A&A...502..611G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200811339.