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The rebirth of Supernova 1987A: a study of the ejecta-ring collision
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Responsible organisation
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Supernovae are some of the most energetic phenomena in the Universe and they have throughout history fascinated people as they appeared as new stars in the sky. Supernova (SN) 1987A exploded in the nearby satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), at a distance of only 168,000 light years. The proximity of SN 1987A offers a unique opportunity to study the medium surrounding the supernova in great detail. Powered by the dynamical interaction of the ejecta with the inner circumstellar ring, SN 1987A is dramatically evolving at all wavelengths on time scales less than a year. This makes SN 1987A a great ``laboratory'' for studies of shock physics. Repeated observations of the ejecta-ring collision have been carried out using the UVES echelle spectrograph at VLT. This thesis covers seven epochs of high resolution spectra taken between October 1999 and November 2007. Three different emission line components are identified from the spectra. A narrow (~10 km/s) velocity component emerges from the unshocked ring. An intermediate (~250 km/s) component arises in the shocked ring, and a broad component extending to ~15,000 km/s comes from the reverse shock. Thanks to the high spectral resolution of UVES, it has been possible to separate the shocked from the unshocked ring emission. For the unshocked gas, ionization stages from neutral up to Ne V and Fe VII were found. The line fluxes of the low-ionization lines decline during the period of the observations. However, the fluxes of the [O III] and [Ne III] lines appear to increase and this is found to be consistent with the heating of the pre-shock gas by X-rays from the shock interactions. The line emission from the ejecta-ring collision increases rapidly as more gas is swept up by the shocks. This emission comes from ions with a range of ionization stages (e.g., Fe II-XIV). The low-ionization lines show an increase in their line widths which is consistent with that these lines originate from radiative shocks. The high-ionization line profiles (Fe X-XIV) initially show larger spectral widths, which indicates that at least a fraction of the emission comes from non-radiative shocks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för astronomi , 2008. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
supernovae, SN 1987A, circumstellar matter, shock waves
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8290ISBN: 978-91-7155-771-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-8290DiVA: diva2:199985
Public defence
2008-12-04, sal FA32, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:30
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-13 Last updated: 2012-08-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Coronal emission from the shocked circumstellar ring of SN 1987A
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Coronal emission from the shocked circumstellar ring of SN 1987A
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2006 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 456, no 2, 581-589 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High resolution spectra with UVES/VLT of SN 1987A from December 2000 until November 2005 show a number of high ionization lines from gas with velocities of ± 350 km s-1, emerging from the shocked gas formed by the ejecta-ring collision. These include coronal lines from [Fe X], [Fe XI] and [Fe XIV] which have increased by a factor of 20 during the observed period. The evolution of the lines is similar to that of the soft X-rays, indicating that they arise in the same component. The line ratios are consistent with those expected from radiative shocks with velocity 310{-}390 km s-1, corresponding to a shock temperature of (1.6{-}2.5)× 106 K. A fraction of the coronal emission may, however, originate in higher velocity adiabatic shocks.

Keyword
supernovae: individual: SN 1987A, circumstellar matter, shock waves
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20166 (URN)10.1051/0004-6361:20065325 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-02-27 Created: 2007-02-27 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. High resolution spectroscopy of the inner ring of SN 1987A
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High resolution spectroscopy of the inner ring of SN 1987A
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2008 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, Vol. 479, no 3, 761-777 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We discuss high resolution VLT/UVES observations (FWHM similar to 6 kms(-1)) from October 2002 (day similar to 5700 past explosion) of the shock interaction of SN 1987A and its circumstellar ring. A large number of narrow emission lines from the unshocked ring, with ion stages from neutral up to Ne V and Fe VII, have been identified. A nebular analysis of the narrow lines from the unshocked gas indicates gas densities of (similar to 1.5 - 5.0) x 10(3) cm(-3) and temperatures of similar to 6.5 x 10(3) - 2.4 x 104 K. This is consistent with the thermal widths of the lines. From the shocked component we observe a large range of ionization stages from neutral lines to [FeXIV]. From a nebular analysis we find that the density in the low ionization region is 4 x 10(6) - 10(7) cm-3. There is a clear difference in the high velocity extension of the low ionization lines and that of lines from [Fe X - XIV], with the latter extending up to similar to- 390 km s(-1) in the blue wing for [Fe XIV], while the low ionization lines extend to typically similar to- 260 km s(-1). For H alpha a faint extension up to similar to- 450 km s(-1) can be seen probably arising from a small fraction of shocked high density clumps. We discuss these observations in the context of radiative shock models, which are qualitatively consistent with the observations. A fraction of the high ionization lines may originate in gas which has yet not had time to cool, explaining the difference in width between the low and high ionization lines. The maximum shock velocities seen in the optical lines are similar to 510 km s(-1). We expect the maximum width of especially the low ionization lines to increase with time.

National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25563 (URN)10.1051/0004-6361:20077604 (DOI)000253454600015 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8290Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-13 Last updated: 2012-05-28Bibliographically approved
3. Time evolution of the line emission from the inner circumstellar ring of SN 1987A and its hot spots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time evolution of the line emission from the inner circumstellar ring of SN 1987A and its hot spots
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2008 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 492, no 2, 481-491 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present seven epochs between October 1999 and November 2007 of high resolution VLT/UVES echelle spectra of the ejecta-ring collision of SN 1987A.
The fluxes of most of the narrow lines from the unshocked gas decreased by a factor of 2-3 during this period, consistent with the decay from the initial ionization by the shock break-out. However, [O III] in particular shows an increase up to day ~6800. This agrees with radiative shock models where the pre-shocked gas is heated by the soft X-rays from the shock. The evolution of the [O III] line ratio shows a decreasing temperature of the unshocked ring gas, consistent with a transition from a hot, low density component which was heated by the initial flash ionization to the lower temperature in the pre-ionized gas ahead of the shocks.
The line emission from the shocked gas increases rapidly as the shock sweeps up more gas. We find that the neutral and high ionization lines follow the evolution of the Balmer lines roughly, while the intermediate ionization lines evolve less rapidly. Up to day ~6800, the optical light curves have a similar evolution to that of the soft X-rays. The break between day 6500 and day 7000 for [O III] and [Ne III] is likely due to recombination to lower ionization levels. Nevertheless, the evolution of the [Fe XIV] line, as well as the lines from the lowest ionization stages, continue to follow that of the soft X-rays, as expected.
There is a clear difference in the line profiles between the low and intermediate ionization lines, and those from the coronal lines at the earlier epochs. This shows that these lines arise from regions with different physical conditions, with at least a fraction of the coronal lines coming from adiabatic shocks. At later epochs the line widths of the low ionization lines, however, increase and approach those of the high ionization lines of [ Fe X-XIV] . The H line profile can be traced up to ~500 km s-1 at the latest epoch. This is consistent with the cooling time of shocks propagating into a density of (1-4) 104 cm-3. This means that these shocks are among the highest velocity radiative shocks observed.

Keyword
supernovae: individual: SN 1987A -- circumstellar matter -- shock waves
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25564 (URN)10.1051/0004-6361:200810551 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-13 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Infrared integral field spectroscopy of SN 1987A
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Infrared integral field spectroscopy of SN 1987A
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2007 In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, Vol. 471, no 2, 617-624 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25565 (URN)000248545700030 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8290Available from: 2008-11-13 Created: 2008-11-13Bibliographically approved

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