AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 63 Exploding Stars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[63.09] Physical Conditions in the Circumstellar Gas Surrounding Supernova 1987A

S. C. Woo, C. S. J. Pun (Dept. of Physics, The University of Hong Kong), P. Lunqvist (Stockholm Observatory), C. Sonneborn (NASA - GSFC)

Supernova (SN) 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud provides an excellent opportunity to observe the birth and development of a supernova remnant because of its proximity. The line emission from SN 1987A came from the circumstellar material of the progenitor star which was ionized by the extreme ultraviolet burst which accompanied the supernova explosion. Imaging has shown that the brightest circumstellar gas is in the form of a ring at a distance about 1 light year from the supernova. In this study, we will investigate the physical conditions of the ring. Spectral imaging of the SN 1987A circumstellar ring was obtained on 1987 December with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The azimuthal flux profiles of the H, He, N, Ne, O and Si emission line images were examined, thus leading to line ratios at each position angle. The temperature and density at each angular position around the ring are then deduced.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: h9920361@hkusua.hku.hk

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