PI: Arlin Crotts, Columbia University, email@example.com
Address: Department of Astronomy, 550 W.~120th St., New York, NY 10027, U.S.A.
CoI: Patrice Bouchet, CTIO
CoI: Steve Heathcote, SOAR
CoI: Steve Lawrence, Hofstra University
CoI: Ben Sugerman, Columbia University
CoI: Nick Suntzeff, CTIO
Title: Evolution of SN 1987A into a Supernova Remnant
Abstract: The collision between the ejecta of SN 1987A and its circumstellar ring is underway. Now and in the next few years, we are watching radical changes in the circumstellar nebula as it is overrun by ejecta expanding at a substantial fraction of c, giving birth to a supernova remnant. We have already discovered (and published) previously, by virtue of this observational program, new interactions between the nebula and ejecta, in the form of ``hot spots'' appearing at the rate of 3 to 5 per year, and we now see the whole inner surface beginning to interact. The collision is predicted (and has been observed) to produce intense IR and optical emission, in new and previously observed lines. Depending on whether they arise in the ejecta or nebula, and whether they are shock or EUV excited, these lines have widths from ~ 10 to 15,000 km s^-1. Frequent echelle and moderate-dispersion spectra are proposed to monitor these features. Here we propose to obtain high- resolution, optical spectra with Echelle and IR spectra with OSIRIS (directly comparable to our existing data). This effort, treating transitions and velocity scales not covered by \em HST, will study for the first time ever the creation of a nearby supernova remnant.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360