NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0483

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0483


PI: P. Frank Winkler, Middlebury College, winkler@middlebury.edu
Address: Department of Physics, Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA

CoI: Knox S. Long, STScI
CoI: William P. Blair, The Johns Hopkins University
CoI: R. Chris Smith, NOAO/CTIO

Title: Young SNRs, Nonradiative Shocks, and Cosmic Rays: Measuring the Expansion of SN\thinspace 1006 and RCW\thinspace 86

Abstract: This is a proposal to use Mosaic on the Blanco to obtain very deep H(alpha) images of two young supernova remnants (SNRs) in order to study the underlying physics at play in SNR shocks. Through comparison with images from over the past two decades, we will measure proper motions for the Balmer-dominated filaments that surround all of \snten\ and much of \rcw, the probable remnant of SN\thinspace 185. Balmer filaments delineate the present position of the primary shock, and in both SNRs include some regions whose post-shock X-ray emission is synchrotron-dominated, and others where X-rays are primarily thermal. Synchrotron X-rays require a population of TeV electrons, meaning these must be sites where cosmic rays originate. For a remnant at a well- known distance, optical proper motions translate directly into the shock velocity, expected to vary significantly around the SNR rims. Comparing shock velocity with post-shock temperature, which we can determine from spectra (some in hand and some to be proposed), we will measure any energy loss across the shock, and thus assess how much energy has gone into cosmic-ray acceleration. We will also obtain broad-band images of both remnants in order to search for high proper motion stars within the shells that might indicate a possible runaway donor companion to the SN (particularly salient for \snten, known to have been a Type Ia SN). We will also use these data to produce spectacular color images of each object that will be valuable for public outreach.


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