AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 74 Stellar Leftovers
Poster, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Ballroom

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[74.09] Near Infrared Observations of the Supernova Remnant W49B: A Possible Collapsar Remnant

J.W. Keohane, W.T. Reach, J. Rho, T.H. Jarrett (SSC/JPL/Caltech)

We present near infrared narrow-band images of the supernova remnant W49B, taken with the WIRC instrument on the Hale 200 inch telescope on Mt. Palomar. The 1.64 micron [Fe II] image reveals a barrel-shaped structure with coaxial rings, while the 2.12 micron molecular hydrogen image is external to the [Fe II] emission---capping the ends of the barrel. The detection of shocked H2 emission provides the first evidence that W49B is interacting with a molecular cloud. We also present archival Chandra images, which show that the bulk of the X-ray line emission is emitted from a central elongated region along the axis of the barrel---flaring at the ends. Interpreting the iron-rich X-ray material as the ejecta suggests that the explosion was highly bipolar. Given that no neutron star has yet been found associated with W49B, we compare our observations to what one would expect from the remnant of a collapsar (i.e. gamma ray burst) inside a preexisting wind-blown bubble located inside a molecular cloud.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: keohane@ipac.caltech.edu

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