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A stubbornly large mass of cold dust in the ejecta of Supernova 1987A

Matsuura, M; Dwek, E; Barlow, MJ; Babler, B; Baes, M; Meixner, M; Cernicharo, J; ... Yates, JA; + view all (2015) A stubbornly large mass of cold dust in the ejecta of Supernova 1987A. Astrophysical Journal , 800 (1) , Article 50. 10.1088/0004-637X/800/1/50. Green open access

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Abstract

We present new Herschel photometric and spectroscopic observations of Supernova 1987A, carried out in 2012. Our dedicated photometric measurements provide new 70 μm data and improved imaging quality at 100 and 160 μm compared to previous observations in 2010. Our Herschel spectra show only weak CO line emission, and provide an upper limit for the 63 μm [O I] line flux, eliminating the possibility that line contaminations distort the previously estimated dust mass. The far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) is well fitted by thermal emission from cold dust. The newly measured 70 μm flux constrains the dust temperature, limiting it to nearly a single temperature. The far-infrared emission can be fitted by 0.5 ± 0.1 M ☉ of amorphous carbon, about a factor of two larger than the current nucleosynthetic mass prediction for carbon. The observation of SiO molecules at early and late phases suggests that silicates may also have formed and we could fit the SED with a combination of 0.3 M ☉ of amorphous carbon and 0.5 M ☉ of silicates, totalling 0.8 M ☉ of dust. Our analysis thus supports the presence of a large dust reservoir in the ejecta of SN 1987A. The inferred dust mass suggests that supernovae can be an important source of dust in the interstellar medium, from local to high-redshift galaxies.

Type: Article
Title: A stubbornly large mass of cold dust in the ejecta of Supernova 1987A
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/800/1/50
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/800/1/50
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Dust, extinction, infrared: ISM, infrared: stars, ISM: supernova remnants, submillimeter: ISM, submillimeter: stars, supernovae: individual (Supernova 1987A).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461155
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