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Paper: KAO observations of SN1987A
Volume: 73, Airborne Astronomy Symposium on the Galactic Ecosystem: From Gas to Stars to Dust
Page: 405
Authors: Wooden, Diane H.
Abstract: Explosion calculations of SN1987A generate pictures of Rayleigh-Taylor fingers of radioactive Ni-56 (Ni-56 yields Co-56 yields Fe-56) which are boosted to velocities of several thousand km/s. From the KAO observations of the mid-IR iron lines, a picture of the iron in the ejecta emerges which is consistent with the 'frothy iron fingers' having expanded to fill about 50% of the metal-rich volume of the ejecta (num less than or equal to 2500 km/s). The ratio of the nickel line intensities I(Ni I7.5 micron)/I(Ni II6.6 microns) yields a high ionization fraction of xNi greater than or equal to 0.9 in the volume associated with the iron-group elements at day 415, before dust condenses in the ejecta. From the KAO observations of the dust's thermal emission (2 microns to 100 microns), it is deduced that when the grains condense, their infrared radiation is trapped, their apparent opacity is gray, and they have a surface area filling factor of about 50%. The dust emission from SN1987A is featureless: no 9.7 micron silicate feature, nor PAH features, nor dust emission features of any kind are seen at any time. The total dust opacity increases with time even though the surface area filling factor and the dust/gas ratio remain constant. This suggests that the dust forms along coherent structures which can maintain their radial line-of-sight opacities, i.e., along fat fingers. The coincidence of the filling factor of the dust and the filling factor of the iron strongly suggests that the dust condenses within the iron, and therefore the dust is iron-rich. It only takes approximately 10-4 solar mass of dust for the ejecta to be optically thick out to approximately 100 microns; a lower limit of 4 x 10-4 solar mass of condensed grains exists in the metal-rich volume, but much more dust could be present. The episode of dust formation started at about 539 days and proceeded rapidly, so that by 600 days 45% of the bolometric luminosity was being emitted in the IR; by 775 days, 86% of the bolometric luminosity was being reradiated by the dust. Measurements of the bolometric luminosity of SN1987A from 1000 to 2300 days are based on 10 micron and 20 micron photometry and rely on the suppositions that the IR emission is a graybody (proven to be true by the KAO observations at 615 and 775 days) and that the dust temperature drops to and remainsat 150 K. The late-time bolometric luminosity is stronger than that expected from the radioactive decay of Co-56, Co-57, Ti-44, and Na-22 and the late-time dust temperatures are consistent with the presence of a compact object.
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