X-ray spectra from SN 1987a

High energy X-rays from SN 1987a from measurements taken 170 days after the supernova explosion by instruments in the Kvant module on the Mir space station. Diamonds and crosses are measured data, while the histograms labeled 1 and 2 are calculated spectra at ages 180 and 240 days respectively. The envelope of the supernova remnant becomes more transparent to scattered X-rays as it ages. More X-rays generated by the hot gas inside the remnant can escape to be measured, which is why the flux of X-rays increases with time between the two calculated spectra.

Spectra courtesy of J. Trümper at MPE from measurements by Rashid Sunyaev and colleagues at SRI (USSR). Reproduced from Figure 3-4b in Charles and Seward.

X-ray spectra from SN 1987a

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