J. Larsson, C. Fransson, J. Spyromilio, B. Leibundgut, P. Challis, R. A. Chevalier, K. France, A. Jerkstrand, R. P. Kirshner, P. Lundqvist, M. Matsuura, R. McCray, N. Smith, J. Sollerman, P. Garnavich, K. Heng, S. Lawrence, S. Mattila, K. Migotto, G. SonnebornF. Taddia, J. C. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Due to its proximity, SN 1987A offers a unique opportunity to directly observe the geometry of a stellar explosion as it unfolds. Here we present spectral and imaging observations of SN 1987A obtained ∼10,000 days after the explosion with HST/STIS and VLT/SINFONI at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. These observations allow us to produce the most detailed 3D map of Hα to date, the first 3D maps for [Ca ii], [O i], and Mg ii α α9244, as well as new maps for [Si i]+[Fe ii] and He i 2.058 μm. A comparison with previous observations shows that the [Si i]+[Fe ii] flux and morphology have not changed significantly during the past ten years, providing evidence that this line is powered by 44Ti. The time evolution of Hα shows that it is predominantly powered by X-rays from the ring, in agreement with previous findings. All lines that have sufficient signal show a similar large-scale 3D structure, with a north-south asymmetry that resembles a broken dipole. This structure correlates with early observations of asymmetries, showing that there is a global asymmetry that extends from the inner core to the outer envelope. On smaller scales, the two brightest lines, Hα and [Si i]+[Fe ii] 1.644 μm, show substructures at the level of ∼200-1000 km s-1and clear differences in their 3D geometries. We discuss these results in the context of explosion models and the properties of dust in the ejecta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number147
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2016


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 1987A)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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