2008 Supplement: Frascati Workshop 2007 / Panagia

Supernova 1987A: Twenty Years After

N. Panagia


I briefly review the story of the SN 1987A explosion, with special
emphasis on the most recent findings. It appears that although this
supernova was somewhat peculiar, the study of SN 1987A has clarified
quite a number of important aspects of the nature and the properties of
supernovae in general, such as the confirmation of the core collapse of
a massive star as the cause of the explosion, as well the confirmation
that the decays ^{56}Ni-^{56}Co-^{56}Fe at early times and
^{44}Ti-^{44}Sc at late times, are the main sources of the energy
radiated by the ejecta. Still we have not been able to ascertain
unambiguously whether the progenitor was a single star or a binary
system, nor have we been able to detect the stellar remnant, a neutron
star that should be produced in the core collapse process.


supernovae: general supernovae: 1987A neutrinos binaries: general stars: neutron

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