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U. Hwang (NASA/GSFC and Johns Hopkins U), J. P. Hughes, C. Badenes (Rutgers U), E. Feigelson (Penn State U), F. Paerels (Columbia U), R. Petre (NASA/GSFC), N. Schulz (MIT), M. Shull (U Colorado), P. O. Slane (CfA), R. Smith (NASA/GSFC and Johns Hopkins University), S. L. Snowden (NASA/GSFC)
Constellation-X will provide dramatically improved data for young, ejecta-dominated supernova remnants that should lead to important new insights into the physics of supernova explosions, shocks, and the pre-supernova evolution of the progenitor systems. Combined good angular and spectral resolution in the 0.25-10 keV bandpass are critical to unravelling the complex distribution, dynamics, and thermal history of the ejecta in the remnants of both core-collapse and thermonuclear (Ia) supernovae. The high sensitivity of Con-X will reveal the distribution of emission from low-abundance nucleosynthesis products (e.g., Ti, V, Cr, Mn, and Co), and faint innershell excitation lines from nuclear decay products, while hard X-ray lines associated with nuclear decays will also provide important constraints on supernova nucleosynthesis. For thermonuclear supernovae, modelling of the X-ray emission from ejecta can set tight constraints on the progenitor system and explosion mechanism, as will sensitive limits on the detection of emission from the low-density circumstellar medium. Other important measurements that Con-X will enable include directly determining the allocation of shock energy between electrons and ions through comparison of electron temperatures and shock velocities determined from thermal line widths, and establishing the expansion profile of ejecta in remnants with pulsar wind nebulae.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.