February 25, 1999 CfA Colloquium

Title: The Impact of SN1987A with its Circumstellar Ring

Speaker: Dick McCray

Abstract: Abstract: The long-awaited crash of the debris of SN1987A is beginning, more-or-less on schedule. With the STIS spectrometer and WFPC-2 we can see UV and optical emission lines from both a fast (~12,000 km/s) reverse shock and a slower (~300 km/s) blast wave that is entering a hot spot in the inner circumstellar ring. We also see diffuse Lyman-alpha emission that appears to be caused by non-thermal particles that are accelerated by the shocks and diffuse upstream into the supernova debris. We also see X-ray and infrared emission from the hot (T > 106 K) gas between these shocks. As this crash develops during the next few years, SN1987A will brighten by orders of magnitude at wavelengths ranging from radio to X-ray. I'll describe the current observations, our efforts at modeling the results, and our predictions for the future development of this event.

Reference for students:

Lunch on Thursday at 12:30 in the classroom