AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 86. Supernovae and Cataclysmic Variables
Display, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[86.12] The Evolution of SN1987A Debris: 12 Year Light Curves in UBVRIJHK

A. M. Soderberg (Cerro Tololo Inter-Amer. Obs.), P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), N. B. Suntzeff (Cerro Tololo Inter-Amer. Obs.)

HST observations show that the nitrogen-rich circumstellar material surrounding SN1987A is a significant source of contamination in ground-based photometry for the SN debris. We analyze six epochs of WFPC2 PC images (1994.8-1999.0) in broad-band filters F336W, F439W, F555W, F675W, and F814W (HST UBVRI) and four epochs in narrow-band filters F656N, F658N, and F502N. Our corrected light curves demonstrate that flux from the circumstellar ring dominates flux from the debris in the ground-based data set after day 1195 (JD=2448047). On day 3268, the magnitudes for the SN debris were (UBVRI)=(19.75, 19.85, 19.97, 18.91, 19.30). The magnitudes for the ring (including the faint star superimposed on the ring) were (UBVRI)=(18.29, 19.21, 18.36, 16.44, 18.41).

We have fit the slow change in the ring magnitudes over the last five years to provide an extrapolation back to the epochs of ground-based observations. These extrapolations are used to remove the ring flux from the ground-based photometric measurements which yields a uniform set of UBVRIJHK light curves for the debris of SN1987A over its past 12 year evolution.

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