Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser., 159, 60-99 (2005/July-0)
The three-dimensional circumstellar environment of SN 1987A.
SUGERMAN B.E.K., CROTTS A.P.S., KUNKEL W.E., HEATHCOTE S.R. and LAWRENCE S.S.
Abstract (from CDS):
Surrounding SN 1987A is a three-ring nebula attributed to interacting stellar winds, yet no model has successfully reproduced this system. Fortunately, the progenitor's mass-loss history can be reconstructed using light echoes, in which scattered light from the supernova traces the three-dimensional morphology of its circumstellar dust. In this paper, we construct and analyze the most complete map to date of the progenitor's circumstellar environment, using ground- and space-based imaging from the past 16 years. PSF-matched difference-imaging analyses of data from 1988 through 1997 reveal material between 1 and 28 lt-yr from the SN. Previously known structures, such as an inner hourglass, Napoleon's Hat, and a contact discontinuity, are probed in greater spatial detail than before. Previously unknown features are also discovered, such as a southern counterpart to Napoleon's Hat. Careful analyses of these echoes allows the reconstruction of the probable circumstellar environment, revealing a richly structured bipolar nebula. An outer, double-lobed ``Peanut'', which is believed to be the contact discontinuity between red supergiant and main-sequence winds, is a prolate shell extending 28 lt-yr along the poles and 11 lt-yr near the equator. Napoleon's Hat, previously believed to be an independent structure, is the waist of this Peanut, which is pinched to a radius of 6 lt-yr. Interior to this is a cylindrical hourglass, 1 lt-yr in radius and 4 lt-yr long, which connects to the Peanut by a thick equatorial disk. The nebulae are inclined 41° south and 8° east of the line of sight, slightly elliptical in cross section, and marginally offset west of the SN. From the hourglass to the large, bipolar lobes, echo fluxes suggest that the gas density drops from 1-3 to ≳0.03/cm3, while the maximum dust-grain size increases from ∼0.2 to 2 µm, and the silicate:carbonaceous dust ratio decreases. The nebulae have a total mass of ∼1.7 M☉. The geometry of the three rings is studied, suggesting the northern and southern rings are located 1.3 and 1.0 lt-yr from the SN, while the equatorial ring is elliptical (b/a≲0.98), and spatially offset in the same direction as the hourglass.
Stars: Circumstellar Matter - ISM: Dust, Extinction - Galaxies: Magellanic Clouds - Scattering - Stars: Mass Loss - Stars: Supernovae: Individual: Alphanumeric: SN 1987A
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