X-ray light curve of SN 1987a


The time history of X-rays from SN1987a observed by Ginga . The light curve reveals fluctuations in the intensity over periods of about 50 days, and they are believed to be real.SN 1987a was continuously monitored prior to the first detection of X-rays by Ginga 130 days after the stellar collapse but no events were found. The shell at this time was too thick in the first hundred days for X-rays to escape. This is consistent with the idea that the X-rays were originally produced as higher energy gamma rays by the decay of 5656Co. These photons were then processed into more photons of lesser energies by collisions with electrons in the thick expanding shell of the remnant. The X-ray luminosity in this energy band is 1037 erg s-1.

Light curve courtesy of the Ginga LAC team, taken from Figure 3-4a in Charles and Seward.

X-ray light curve of SN 1987a



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Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:44 EDT