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Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the SN 1987A Triple Ring Nebula

Burrows, Christopher J. and Krist, John and Hester, J. Jeff and Sahai, Raghvendra and Trauger, John T. and Stapelfeldt, Karl R. and Gallagher, John S., III and Ballester, Gilda E. and Casertano, Stefano and Clarke, John T. and Crisp, David and Evans, Robin W. and Griffiths, Richard E. and Hoessel, John G. and Holtzman, Jon A. and Mould, Jeremy R. and Scowen, Paul A. and Watson, Alan M. and Westphal, James A. (1995) Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the SN 1987A Triple Ring Nebula. Astrophysical Journal, 452 (2). pp. 680-684. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/176339.

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We have observed SN 1987A with the optically corrected WFPC2 on the Hubble Space Telescope both in emission lines and in the UV and optical continuum. The previously observed outer nebular structure is shown to be part of two closed unresolved loops. These loops were flash-ionized by the supernova itself. They are not caused by limb brightening of an hourglass shell produced by the interaction of the winds from the progenitor. The inner ring is seen to be extended and may be connected to the new outer rings by sheets of material. However, beyond the outer rings, emission is not seen, implying a very low density (n < 10) for the outer hourglass shell if it exists. The new outer rings are unresolved, and this together with their observed brightness implies a density n > 1000. This density contrast of at least 100 is difficult to reconcile with the conventional picture of the progenitor evolution. Two models for the rings are presented, but each is deficient in important respects. A proper understanding of this system will require new physical insight.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Stapelfeldt, Karl R.0000-0002-2805-7338
Gallagher, John S., III0000-0001-8608-0408
Crisp, David0000-0002-4573-9998
Mould, Jeremy R.0000-0003-3820-1740
Additional Information:© 1995 American Astronomical Society. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Received 1994 October 11; accepted 1994 December 22. This study was partially funded by the WFPC2 Investigation Definition Team (NASA contract NAS7-1260). The study was based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
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Subject Keywords:ISM: bubbles, ISM: jets and outflows, shock waves, stars: mass loss, supernovae: individual (SN 1987A)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150114-071549312
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Official Citation: Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the SN 1987A Triple Ring Nebula Burrows, C. J., Krist, J., Hester, J. J., Sahai, R., Trauger, J. T., Stapelfeldt, K. R., Astrophysical Journal v.452, p.680-684
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53665
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:14 Jan 2015 15:49
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:05

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