Updated imaging and photometric results from Chandra observations of SN 1987A, covering the last 16 years, are presented. We find that the 0.5-2 keV light curve has remained constant at ∼8 × 10-12 erg s-1 cm-2 since 9500 days, with the 3-8 keV light curve continuing to increase until at least 10,000 days. The expansion rate of the ring is found to be energy dependent, such that after day 6000 the ring expands faster in the 2-10 keV band than it does at energies <2 keV. Images show a reversal of the east-west asymmetry between 7000 and 8000 days after the explosion. The latest images suggest the southeastern side of the equatorial ring (ER) is beginning to fade. Consistent with the latest optical and infrared results, our Chandra analysis indicates the blast wave is now leaving the dense ER, which marks the beginning of a major change in the evolutionary phase of the supernova remnant 1987A.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science