The nature of SN1961V has been uncertain. Its peculiar optical light curve and slow expansion velocity are similar to those of super-outbursts of luminous blue variables (LBVs), but its nonthermal radio spectral index and declining radio luminosity are consistent with decades-old supernovae (SNe). We have obtained Hubble Space Telescope STIS images and spectra of the stars in the vicinity of SN1961V, and find Object 7 identified by Filippenko et al. to be the closest to the optical and radio positions of SN1961V. Object 7 is the only point source detected in our STIS spectra and only its Hα emission is detected; it cannot be the SN or its remnant because of the absence of forbidden lines. While the Hα line profile of Object 7 is remarkably similar to that of η Car, the blue color (similar to an A2Ib supergiant) and lack of appreciable variability are unlike known post-outburst LBVs. We have also obtained Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of SN1961V at 18 cm. The non-detection of SN1961V places a lower limit on the size of the radio-emitting region, 7.6 mas or 0.34 pc, which implies an average expansion velocity in excess of 4,400 km s −1, much higher than the optical expansion velocity measured in 1961. We conclude the following: (1) A SN occurred in the vicinity of SN1961V a few decades ago. (2) If the SN1961V light maximum originates from a giant eruption of a massive star, Object 7 is the most probable candidate for the survivor, but its blue color an
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.