Modeling the Hubble Space Telescope Ultraviolet and Optical Spectrum of Spot 1 on the Circumstellar Ring of SN 1987A

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.73). 12/2008; 572(2):906. DOI: 10.1086/340453
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We report and interpret Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) long-slit observations of the optical and ultraviolet (1150-10270 Å) emission line spectra of the rapidly brightening spot 1 on the equatorial ring of SN 1987A between 1997 September and 1999 October (days 3869-4606 after outburst). The emission is caused by radiative shocks created where the supernova blast wave strikes dense gas protruding inward from the equatorial ring. We measure and tabulate line identifications, fluxes, and, in some cases, line widths and shifts. We compute flux correction factors to account for substantial interstellar line absorption of several emission lines. Nebular analysis shows that optical emission lines come from a region of cool (Te ≈ 104 K) and dense (ne ≈ 106 cm-3) gas in the compressed photoionized layer behind the radiative shock. The observed line widths indicate that only shocks with shock velocities Vs < 250 km s-1 have become radiative, while line ratios indicate that much of the emission must have come from yet slower (Vs 135 km s-1) shocks. Such slow shocks can be present only if the protrusion has atomic density n 3 × 104 cm-3, somewhat higher than that of the circumstellar ring. We are able to fit the UV fluxes with an idealized radiative shock model consisting of two shocks (Vs = 135 and 250 km s-1). The observed UV flux increase with time can be explained by the increase in shock surface areas as the blast wave overtakes more of the protrusion. The observed flux ratios of optical to highly ionized UV lines are greater by a factor of ~2-3 than predictions from the radiative shock models, and we discuss the possible causes. We also present models for the observed Hα line widths and profiles, which suggest that a chaotic flow exists in the photoionized regions of these shocks. We discuss what can be learned with future observations of all the spots present on the equatorial ring.

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    ABSTRACT: We present observations with VLT and HST of the broad emission lines from the inner ejecta and reverse shock of SN 1987A from 1999 until 2012 (days 4381 -- 9100 after explosion). We detect broad lines from H-alpha, H-beta, Mg I], Na I, [O I], [Ca II] and a feature at 9220 A. We identify the latter line with Mg II 9218, 9244,most likely pumped by Ly-alpha fluorescence. H-alpha, and H-beta both have a centrally peaked component, extending to 4500 km/s and a very broad component extending to 11,000 km/s, while the other lines have only the central component. The low velocity component comes from unshocked ejecta, heated mainly by X-rays from the circumstellar ring collision, whereas the broad component comes from faster ejecta passing through the reverse shock. The reverse shock flux in H-alpha has increased by a factor of 4-6 from 2000 to 2007. After that there is a tendency of flattening of the light curve, similar to what may be seen in soft X-rays and in the optical lines from the shocked ring. The core component seen in H-alpha, [Ca II] and Mg II has experienced a similar increase, consistent with that found from HST photometry. The ring-like morphology of the ejecta is explained as a result of the X-ray illumination, depositing energy outside of the core of the ejecta. The energy deposition in the ejecta of the external X-rays illumination is calculated using explosion models for SN 1987A and we predict that the outer parts of the unshocked ejecta will continue to brighten because of this. We finally discuss evidence for dust in the ejecta from line asymmetries.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2012; 768(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report optical and mid-infrared photometry of SN 1980K between 2004 and 2010, which show slow monotonic fading consistent with previous spectroscopic and photometric observations made 8 to 17 years after outburst. The slow rate-of-change over two decades suggests that this evolution may result from scattered and thermal light echoes off of extended circumstellar material. We present a semi- analytic dust radiative-transfer model that uses an empirically corrected effective optical depth to provide a fast and robust alternative to full Monte-Carlo radiative transfer modeling for homogenous dust at low to intermediate optical depths. We find that unresolved echoes from a thin circumstellar shell 14-15 lt-yr from the progenitor, and containing about 0.02 Msun of carbon-rich dust, can explain the broadband spectral and temporal evolution. The size, mass and dust composition are in good agreement with the contact discontinuity observed in scattered echoes around SN 1987A. The origin of slowly-changing high-velocity [O I] and Halpha lines is also considered. We propose an origin in shocked high-velocity metal-rich clumps of ejecta, rather than arising in the impact of ejecta on slowly-moving circumstellar material, as is the case with hot spots in SN 1987A.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 749(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the most sensitive ultraviolet observations of Supernova 1987A to date. Imaging spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope-Cosmic Origins Spectrograph shows many narrow (Δv ~ 300 km s–1) emission lines from the circumstellar ring, broad (Δv ~ 10-20 × 103 km s–1) emission lines from the reverse shock, and ultraviolet continuum emission. The high signal-to-noise ratio (>40 per resolution element) broad Lyα emission is excited by soft X-ray and EUV heating of mostly neutral gas in the circumstellar ring and outer supernova debris. The ultraviolet continuum at λ > 1350 Å can be explained by H I two-photon (2s 2 S 1/2-1s 2 S 1/2) emission from the same region. We confirm our earlier, tentative detection of N V λ1240 emission from the reverse shock and present the first detections of broad He II λ1640, C IV λ1550, and N IV] λ1486 emission lines from the reverse shock. The helium abundance in the high-velocity material is He/H = 0.14 ± 0.06. The N V/Hα line ratio requires partial ion-electron equilibration (Te /Tp 0.14-0.35). We find that the N/C abundance ratio in the gas crossing the reverse shock is significantly higher than that in the circumstellar ring, a result that may be attributed to chemical stratification in the outer envelope of the supernova progenitor. The N/C abundance may have been stratified prior to the ring expulsion, or this result may indicate continued CNO processing in the progenitor subsequent to the expulsion of the circumstellar ring.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2011; 743(2):186. · 6.73 Impact Factor

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