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Astron. Astrophys. 356, 585-589 (2000)

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The Schweizer-Middleditch star revisited

M.R. Burleigh 1, U. Heber 2, D. O'Donoghue 3 and M.A. Barstow 1

1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2 Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Sternwartstrasse 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
3 South African Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 9, Observatory 7935, Cape Town, South Africa

Received 30 November 1999 / Accepted 26 January 2000


We have re-observed and re-analysed the optical spectrum of the Schweizer-Middleditch star, a hot subdwarf which lies along almost the same line-of-sight as the centre of the historic SN1006 supernova remnant (SNR). Although this object is itself unlikely to be the remnant of the star which exploded in 1006AD, Wellstein et al. (1999) have demonstrated that it could be the remnant of the donor star in a pre-supernova Type Ia interacting binary, if it possesses an unusually low mass. We show that, if it had a mass of 0.1-0.2[FORMULA], the SM star would lie at the same distance ([FORMULA]800pc) as the SNR as estimated by Willingale et al. (1995). However, most distance estimates to SN1006 are much larger than this, and there are other convincing arguments to suggest that the SM star lies behind this SNR. Assuming the canonical subdwarf mass of 0.5[FORMULA], we constrain the distance of the SM star as 1050 pc[FORMULA]d[FORMULA]2100 pc. This places the upper limit on the distance of SN1006 at 2.1 kpc.

Key words: stars: supernovae: individual: SN 1006

Send offprint requests to: Matt Burleigh, (mbu@star.le.ac.uk)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 10, 2000