High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of SNR 1987A: Chandra letg and hetg observations in 2007

Svetozar A. Zhekov, Richard McCray, Daniel Dewey, Claude R. Canizares, Kazimierz J. Borkowski, David N. Burrows, Sangwook Park

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41 Scopus citations


We present an extended analysis of the deep Chandra LETG and HETG observations of the supernova remnant 1987A (SNR 1987A) carried out in 2007. The global fits to the grating spectra show that the temperature of the X-ray emitting plasma in the slower shocks in this system has remained stable for the last three years, while that in the faster shocks has decreased. This temperature evolution is confirmed by the first light curves of strong X-ray emission lines and their ratios. On the other hand, bulk gas velocities inferred from the X-ray line profiles are too low to account for the postshock plasma temperatures inferred from spectral fits. This suggests that the X-ray emission comes from gas that has been shocked twice, first by the blast wave and again by shocks reflected from the inner ring of SNR 1987A. A new model that takes these considerations into account gives support to this physical picture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1204
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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