Why are supernovae in our Galaxy so frequent

P.M. Dragicevich, David Blair, Ron Burman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    55 Citations (Web of Science)


    We show that if the observed surface density function of supernovae in external spiral galaxies is used to calibrate the historical data on the supernova rate in the solar neighbourhood, then the calculated total supernova rate for the Galaxy is abnormally high. This can be explained if Galactic supernovae are not uniformly distributed over the Galactic disc, but tend to be localized near spiral arms and star-forming regions. Such a distribution would be consistent with evidence for an association of Type Ib/c and Type II supernovae with H II regions in late-type galaxies. It seems that we occupy a privileged position in the Milky Way - one which gives us the impression of a considerably higher supernova rate than is valid for the Galaxy as a whole.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)693-699
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue numberN/A
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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