The Birth Place of the Type Ic Supernova 2007Gr
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We report our attempts to locate the progenitor of the peculiar Type Ic SN 2007gr in Hubble Space Telescope (HST) preexplosion images of the host galaxy, NGC 1058. Aligning adaptive optics Altair/NIRI imaging of SN 2007gr from the Gemini ( North) Telescope with the preexplosion HST WFPC2 images, we identify the supernova (SN) position on the HST frames with an accuracy of 20 mas. Although nothing is detected at the SN position, we show that it lies on the edge of a bright source 134 +/- 23 mas (6.9 pc) from its nominal center. On the basis of its luminosity, we suggest that this object is possibly an unresolved, compact, and coeval cluster and that the SN progenitor was a cluster member, although we note that model profile fitting favors a single bright star. We find two solutions for the age of this assumed cluster: 7 -/+ 0.5 Myr and 20 - 30 Myr, with turnoff masses of 28 +/- M(circle dot) and 12 - 9 M(circle dot), respectively. Preexplosion ground-based K- band images marginally favor the younger cluster 4 age/higher turnoff mass. Assuming the SN progenitor was a cluster member, the turnoff mass provides the best estimate for its initial mass. More detailed observations, after the SN has faded, should determine whether the progenitor was indeed part of a cluster and, if so, allow an age estimate to within similar to 2 Myr, thereby favoring either a high-mass single star or lower-mass interacting binary progenitor.