August 2013 • 2013AJ....146...24V
Abstract • I have discovered a prominent light echo around the low-luminosity Type II-plateau supernova (SN) 2008bk in NGC 7793, seen in archival images obtained with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The echo is a partial ring, brighter to the north and east than to the south and west. The analysis of the echo I present suggests that it is due to the SN light pulse scattered by a sheet, or sheets, of dust located ≈15 pc from the SN. The composition of the dust is assumed to be of standard Galactic diffuse interstellar grains. The visual extinction of the dust responsible for the echo is AV ≈ 0.05 mag in addition to the extinction due to the Galactic foreground toward the host galaxy. That the SN experienced much less overall extinction implies that it is seen through a less dense portion of the interstellar medium in its environment. The late-time HST photometry of SN 2008bk also clearly demonstrates that the progenitor star has vanished.Based in part on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.