We present high-resolution Chandra observations of the remnant of SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The high angular resolution of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory permits us to resolve the X-ray remnant. We find that the remnant is shell-like in morphology, with X-ray peaks associated with some of the optical hot spots seen in Hubble Space Telescope images. The X-ray light curve has deviated from the linear flux increase observed by ROSAT, with a 0.5-2.0 keV luminosity of 1.5 × 1035 ergs s-1 in 2000 January. We set an upper limit of 2.3 × 1034 ergs s-1 on the observed luminosity of any embedded central source (0.5-2 keV). We also present a high-resolution spectrum and show that the X-ray emission is thermal in origin and is dominated by highly ionized species of O, Ne, Mg, and Si.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science