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Gamma-ray imaging observations of Supernova 1987A


Palmer, David M. (1992) Gamma-ray imaging observations of Supernova 1987A. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ctqh-qa26.


The Caltech imaging γ-ray telescope has made four balloon flights from Alice Springs, Australia, to observe the hard X-ray and γ-ray emission from Supernova 1987 A as it evolved between 1987 May and 1989 April. We have detected γ-rays with the time behavior and spectral signature expected from freshly-synthesized radioisotopes embedded in a cloud of ejecta. In particular, we detect the 847 and 1238 keY γ-ray lines produced by the decay of ^(56)Co, and the continuum spectrum expected from Compton scattering of these γ-trays. The results of these observations are compared with other measurements and with theoretical models of supernovae, and it is found that our results are consistent with core-collapse models for SN 1987A in which the centrally-produced radioisotopes have propagated outwards to mix with the ejecta.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Prince, Thomas A.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:28 February 1992
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:09012011-153518265
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6645
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Sep 2011 18:28
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:26

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