Chandra observations of SNR 1987A

S. Park, S. A. Zhekov, D. N. Burrows, E. Michael, R. McCray, G. P. Garmire, G. Hasinger

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8 Scopus citations


We report on the results of our monitoring program of the X-ray remnant of supernova 1987A with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We have performed two new observations during the Chandra Cycle 3 period, bringing the total to six monitoring observations over the past three years. These six observations provide a detailed time history of the birth of a new supernova remnant in X-rays. The high angular resolution images indicate that soft X-ray bright knots are associated with the optical spots, while hard X-ray features are better correlated with radio images. We interpret this in terms of a model in which fast shocks propagating through the circumstellar HII region produce the hard X-ray and radio emission, while the soft X-ray and optical emission arise in slower shocks entering into dense knots in the circumstellar inner ring. New observations begin to show changes in the morphology that may herald a new stage in the development of this incipient supernova remnant. The observed X-ray fluxes increase by nearly a factor of three over the last 30 months. The X-ray remnant is expanding at a velocity of ∼5000 km s -1 .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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