The reappearance of optical emission from historical supernovae decades after the initial event has been discussed a number of times (cf. Brecher, 1981, B.A.A.S., 13, 793, and Brecher and Marschall, 1991, Astronomy, 20, No. 2, 30). Immediately following the explosion of Supernova 1987A, it was suggested that it too would reappear as an optical source roughly a decade after the initial event (Brecher, 1988, B.A.A.S., 19, 1102). Such optical radiation has now been detected (Sonneborn et. al., 1998, Ap. J., 492, L139 ). The energy for the optical emission comes from shock heating by the supernova ejecta of the circumstellar gas previously lost from the progenitor star. In this talk we will explore some of the nonthermal processes which should also result from the interaction of the SN 1987A ejecta with the surrounding circumstellar matter. In particular, we will discuss the physics of cosmic ray acceleration, magnetic field amplification, and associated high energy x-ray and gamma-ray radiative processes resulting from this gas-gas collision. It seems likely that in the coming decades, SN 1987A will also emit sizable fluxes of nonthermal hard x-rays and gamma-rays.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #192
- Pub Date:
- May 1998