THAT type II supernovae apparently occur predominantly in stars significantly more massive than the Sun has been known1 for some time, although a precise stellar mass range for these cataclysmic events can not be defined observationally. Recent theoretical interpretations2–4 of diverse observational data seem, however, to indicate independently that the masses are significantly in excess of 8M⊙. Furthermore, observational evidence5 may exist that stars with masses below 6M⊙ cease nuclear burning before a critical supernova configuration evolves. If this is the case, the total supernovae contribution from the stars of lower mass is negligible and theoretical difficulties6 associated with such events are resolved. The circumstantial evidence for massive (>8M⊙)supernova progenitors is thus reinforced, although problems arise in understanding the supernova mechanism.
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MAZUREK, T. Degeneracy effects on neutrino mass ejection in supernovae. Nature 252, 287–289 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1038/252287a0
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