AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 85. Supernova Remnants and Planetary Nebulae
Display, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[85.11] VLBI observations of supernova remnants in Messier 82

T.W.B. Muxlow, A. Pedlar, K.A. Wills (NRAL, Jodrell Bank), M.A. Garrett (JIVE), P. Diamond, P.N. Wilkinson (NRAL, Jodrell Bank), W. Alef (Max-Planck-Institut)

We have used the European VLBI Network (EVN) at 18cm to study five of the more compact supernova remnants in the starburst galaxy M82. The angular resolution of the observations is 15 mas, corresponding to 0.2 pc at the distance of M82. The observations reveal shells ranging in diameter from 40 mas to 90 mas (0.6 to 1.4 pc) although the strongest source (41.95+575) is only marginally resolved by these measurements (~ 20x10 mas).

We have found clear evidence for expansion in one of the shell sources (43.31+592) by re-analysing, in wide-field mode, EVN data observed in 1986. Between 1986 and 1997 this source has increased its diameter by 13.6±2 mas corresponding to an average expansion velocity of 9850 ± 1500 km s-1. If we assume the remnant is in free expansion, this is consistent with a supernova event in the early 1960s. Hence this remnant is almost certainly younger than the strongest, most compact source (41.95+575) which was known to be present in the 1960s. 41.95+575 shows no clear evidence for expansion (<4000 km s-1), consistent with a greater age; this is further evidence of its anomalous status. Comparison of the EVN images with earlier MERLIN data is also consistent with expansion in at least two other of the sources. We discuss the flux density variability of the compact sources in M82 and conclude that, with the exception of 41.95+575 and two transient sources, there is little evidence for significant changes in flux density of most of the remnants since the early 1980s.

In addition we present our most recent Global VLBI observation of M82 at 18 cm with an angular resolution of 3 mas. This observation represents the most detailed study of the M82 supernova remnants to date and our preliminary results are presented.

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