A NEW EVOLUTIONARY PHASE OF SUPERNOVA REMNANT 1987A
Author(s)Park, Sangwook; Zhekov, Svetozar A.; Burrows, David N.; Racusin, Judith L.; Dewey, Dan; McCray, Richard; ... Show more Show less
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We have been monitoring the supernova remnant (SNR) 1987A with Chandra observations since 1999. Here we report on the latest change in the soft X-ray light curve of SNR 1987A. For the last ~1.5 yr (since day ~8000), the soft X-ray flux has significantly flattened, staying (within uncertainties) at f[subscript X] ~ 5.7 × 10[superscript –12] erg cm[superscript –2] s[superscript –1 ](corresponding to L[subscript X] ~ 3.6 × 10[superscript 36] erg s[superscript –1]) in the 0.5-2 keV band. This remarkable change in the recent soft X-ray light curve suggests that the forward shock is now interacting with a decreasing density structure, after interacting with an increasing density gradient over ~10 yr prior to day ~8000. Possibilities may include the case that the shock is now propagating beyond a density peak of the inner ring. We briefly discuss some possible implications on the nature of the progenitor and the future prospects of our Chandra monitoring observations.
DepartmentMIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Park, Sangwook, Svetozar A. Zhekov, David N. Burrows, Judith L. Racusin, Daniel Dewey, and Richard McCray. “A NEW EVOLUTIONARY PHASE OF SUPERNOVA REMNANT 1987A.” The Astrophysical Journal 733, no. 2 (May 10, 2011): L35. © 2011 The American Astronomical Society
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