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Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment observations of Co-57 in SN 1987A
Kurfess, J. D.; Johnson, W. N.; Kinzer, R. L.; Kroeger, R. A.; Strickman, M. S.; Grove, J. E.; Leising, M. D.; Clayton, D. D.; Grabelsky, D. A.; Purcell, W. R.; Ulmer, M. P.; Cameron, R. A.; Jung, G. V.
AA(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AB(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AC(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AD(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AE(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AF(U.S. Navy, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington), AG(Clemson Univ., SC), AH(Clemson Univ., SC), AI(Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL), AJ(Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 399, no. 2, p. L137-L140. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Cobalt Isotopes, Nuclear Astrophysics, Scintillation Counters, Stellar Spectrophotometry, Supernova 1987a, Energy Spectra, Gamma Ray Observatory, Stellar Luminosity, Stellar Models
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The Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory has observed SN 1987A for two 2 week periods during the first 9 months of the mission. Evidence for gamma-ray line and continuum emission from Co-57 is observed with an intensity of about 10 exp -4 gamma/sq cm/s. This photon flux between 50 and 136 keV is demonstrated by Monte Carlo calculations to be independent of the radial distribution of Co-57 for models of low optical depth, viz., models having photoelectric absorption losses of 122 keV photons no greater than several percent. For such models the observed Co-57 flux indicates that the ratio Ni-57/Ni-56 produced in the explosion was about 1.5 times the solar system ratio of Fe-57/Fe-56. When compared with nearly contemporaneous bolometric estimates of the luminosity for SN 1987A, our observations imply that Co-57 radioactivity does not account for most of the current luminosity of the supernova remnant in low optical depth models. We suggest alternatives, including a large optical depth model that is able to provide the SN 1987A luminosity and is consistent with the OSSE flux. It requires a 57/56 production ratio about twice solar.

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