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News Release Archive:

News Release 9 of 958

August 6, 2014 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2014-32

NASA's Hubble Finds Supernova Star System Linked to Potential 'Zombie Star'

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Image: Supernova 2012Z in Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309

Supernova 2012Z in Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309STScI-PRC2014-32

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

The inset panel is a pair of Hubble Space Telescope images of the spiral galaxy NGC 1309 that were taken before and after the appearance of Supernova 2012Z, in the outskirts of the galaxy. The white X-shaped feature at the top of the image of the galaxy marks the location of the supernova.

The inset panel from 2013 shows the supernova; archival Hubble data from 2005 and 2006 show the progenitor system for the supernova, thought to be a binary system containing a helium star transferring material to a white dwarf that exploded.

The stellar blast is a member of a unique class of supernova called Type Iax. These supernovae are less energetic, and hence fainter, on average, than their well-known cousins, Type Ia supernovae, which also originate from exploding white dwarfs in binary systems.

Object Names: Supernova 2012Z, NGC 1309

Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated

Credit: NASA, ESA, C. McCully and S. Jha (Rutgers University), R. Foley (University of Illinois), and Z. Levay (STScI)

Acknowledgment: Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and A. Riess (JHU/STScI)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309 Image Type: Astronomical Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309 2005-2006 Hubble Images of Progenitor System for Supernova 2012Z Image Type: Astronomical 2005-2006 Hubble Images of Progenitor System for Supernova 2012Z 2013 Hubble Image of Supernova 2012Z Image Type: Astronomical 2013 Hubble Image of Supernova 2012Z

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