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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We report on sensitive 1.4-GHz VLBI radio observations of the unusually luminous supernova remnant SNR 4449-1 in the galaxy NGC 4449, which gave us the first well-resolved image of this object. The remnant's radio morphology consists of two approximately parallel bright ridges, suggesting similarities to the barrel shape seen for many older Galactic supernova remnants or possibly to SN 1987A. The angular extent of the remnant is 65 × 40 mas, corresponding to (3.7 × 2.3) × 1018 (D/3.8 Mpc) cm. We also present a new, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectrum. By comparing the remnant's linear size to the maximum velocities measured from optical lines, as well as using constraints from historical images, we conclude that the supernova explosion occurred between ∼1905 and 1961, likely around 1940. The age of the remnant is therefore likely ∼70 yr. We find that SNR 4449-1's shock wave is likely still interacting with the circumstellar rather than interstellar medium.