AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 32. Core-Collapse of Massive Stars: Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts
Topical Session Oral, Tuesday, June 4, 2002, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:00-3:30pm, 3:45-5:30pm, Ballroom C

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[32.05] Spectropolarimetry of Supernovae

L. Wang (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

I present high quality spectropolarimetry data from the ESO-VLT. For the fist time, these data allow us to derive 3-dimensional structures of supernovae soon after explosions. The new data confirm that core-collapse supernovae are generally asymmetric at levels around 10-30%. The data also confirm that the core-collapse supernovae usually have well-defined symmetry axes which do not evolve with the depth into the ejecta. The high quality data from VLT, add new evidence that in addition to well defined symmetry axes, strong hydrodynamical instabilities occur in some core-collapse supernovae. The recent high quality polarimetry data also made it possible to resolve the degree of asymmetries in different chemical layers. The data suggest asymmetric supernova atmosphere as the cause of the observed polarization rather than circumstellar or interstellar dust. As an example, I show SN 2001dh, a Type II observed the ESO-VLT, to be polarized at 3.0%. The polarimetry reveals inhomogeneous distributions of scandium and barium on the plateau. This could be direct evidence for mixing in a supernova that exploded asymmetrically.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Lwang@lbl.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.