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Very deep inside the SN 1987a core ejecta: molecular structures seen in 3D

Abellan, F.J., Indebetouw, R., Marcaide, J.M., Gabler, M., Fransson, C., Spyromilio, J., Burrows, D.N., Chevalier, R., Cigan, Phillip, Gaensler, B.M., Gomez, Haley Louise ORCID:, Janka, H.Th., Kirshner, R., Larsson, J., Lundqvist, P., Matsuura, Mikako ORCID:, McCray, R., Ng, C.Y., Park, S., Roche, P., Staveley-Smith, S., Van Loon, J.Th., Wheeler, J.C. and Woosley, S.E. 2017. Very deep inside the SN 1987a core ejecta: molecular structures seen in 3D. The Astrophysical Journal 842 (2) , L24. 10.3847/2041-8213/aa784c

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Most massive stars end their lives in core-collapse supernova explosions and enrich the interstellar medium with explosively nucleosynthesized elements. Following core collapse, the explosion is subject to instabilities as the shock propagates outwards through the progenitor star. Observations of the composition and structure of the innermost regions of a core-collapse supernova provide a direct probe of the instabilities and nucleosynthetic products. SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is one of very few supernovae for which the inner ejecta can be spatially resolved but are not yet strongly affected by interaction with the surroundings. Our observations of SN 1987A with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) are of the highest resolution to date and reveal the detailed morphology of cold molecular gas in the innermost regions of the remnant. The 3D distributions of carbon and silicon monoxide (CO and SiO) emission differ, but both have a central deficit, or torus-like distribution, possibly a result of radioactive heating during the first weeks (“nickel heating”). The size scales of the clumpy distribution are compared quantitatively to models, demonstrating how progenitor and explosion physics can be constrained.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 0004637X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 June 2017
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023 02:53

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