We examine the environment of supernovae in early-type galaxies to test the suggestion that these supernovae may be connected to reservoirs of cool gas. In the course of investigations of gas disks in early-type galaxies, one of the authors (TSC) has been struck by the fact that many elliptical and S0 galaxies possessing unusual disks or prominent dust features have had recent supernovae. Upon closer inspection, we note that the locations of the supernovae generally lay in the same projected region where dust or cold gas was seen. The supernovae discovered in early-type galaxies have all been type Ia (or type I before the Ia subclass was developed). SNIa are also seen in spiral galaxies, but only in their disks. These supernovae are one of the ``standard candles" used in distance determinations, thus the nature of these objects has potential cosmological implications. We list all the supernovae recorded in early-type systems thru late 1994 (approximately 100 cases equally divided between ellipticals and S0s) and point out an apparent correlation between the projected locations of the supernovae and dust lanes or cold gas. This correlation suggests a possible connection between cool gas (star formation?) and supernovae in early-type galaxies, a suggestion that may be difficult to reconcile with the popular wisdom concerning SNIa.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1994