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Dust production and particle acceleration in Supernova 1987A revealed with ALMA

Indebetouw, R., Matsuura, M. ORCID:, Dwek, E., Zanardo, G., Barlow, M. J., Baes, M., Bouchet, P., Burrows, D. N., Chevalier, R., Clayton, G. C., Fransson, C., Gaensler, B., Kirshner, R., Lakicevic, M., Long, K. S., Lundqvist, P., Marti-Vidal, I., Marcaide, J., McCray, R., Meixner, M., Ng, C. -Y., Park, S., Sonneborn, G., Staveley-Smith, L., Vlahakis, C. and van Loon, J. 2014. Dust production and particle acceleration in Supernova 1987A revealed with ALMA. Astrophysical Journal Letters 782 (1) , L2. 10.1088/2041-8205/782/1/L2

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Supernova (SN) explosions are crucial engines driving the evolution of galaxies by shock heating gas, increasing the metallicity, creating dust, and accelerating energetic particles. In 2012 we used the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array to observe SN 1987A, one of the best-observed supernovae since the invention of the telescope. We present spatially resolved images at 450 μm, 870 μm, 1.4 mm, and 2.8 mm, an important transition wavelength range. Longer wavelength emission is dominated by synchrotron radiation from shock-accelerated particles, shorter wavelengths by emission from the largest mass of dust measured in a supernova remnant (>0.2 M☉). For the first time we show unambiguously that this dust has formed in the inner ejecta (the cold remnants of the exploded star's core). The dust emission is concentrated at the center of the remnant, so the dust has not yet been affected by the shocks. If a significant fraction survives, and if SN 1987A is typical, supernovae are important cosmological dust producers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: galaxies: ISM ; ISM: supernova remnants ; Magellanic Clouds ; supernovae: individual (1987A)
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher policy at
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 2041-8205
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 December 2013
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 01:22

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