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Session 78 - Supernova Remnants.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center
We are studying the interaction of supernova remnants (SNRs) with circumstellar shells, with an emphasis on Type II supernovae (SNe). These supernovae arise from massive progenitor stars (> 8 M_ødot), which lose mass during their lifetime, primarily in the form of a stellar wind. Often the stellar wind creates a circumstellar bubble surrounded by a dense shell. When the star explodes as a supernova, the resulting shock wave eventually collides with this dense shell.
In a recent paper on SN 1987A (Chevalier amp; Dwarkadas, ApJL, 452, L45) we have shown that from the radio and X-ray emission, one can infer the presence of a high density region interior to the dense circumstellar shell. This can be explained as an HII region photoionized by the flux from the pre-supernova star. Using the Zeus code and assuming spherical symmetry, we have studied the dynamics of the shock wave interacting first with the HII region and then the circumstellar shell in SN 1987A. Collision with the HII region results in a significant deceleration of the shock wave, forming a high-density shocked region that grows with time, and is primarily responsible for the X-ray emission. X-ray emission from the reflected shock may begin to dominate when the forward shock hits the dense circumstellar shell and is considerably slowed down.
Simulations are in progress with parameters suited to other remnants such as Cas A and W44. Radio and X-ray images of Cas A show a shell structure, which may result from interaction with a stellar bubble. W44 also shows a double-shell structure that may have been produced by a SN explosion inside a pre-existing wind bubble. The interaction is subject to instabilities that may give rise to filamentary structure.
Program listing for Wednesday