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Formation of the Three-Ring Structure Around Supernova 1987A

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Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 321-322
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069425

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Abstract

From a magnetohydrodynamic simulation, we reproduce a three-ring structure in the circumstellar space of the supernova (SN) 1987A observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. When a star develops from a red supergiant (RSG) to a blue supergiant (BSG) just before the SN explosion, a wind-wind interaction occurs between the slow stellar wind from the RSG and the subsequent fast stellar wind from the BSG. This process is simulated numerically under an assumption that the density and velocity distributions around the RSG are anisotropic owing to the existence of toroidal magnetic field and coronal holes. The three rings with observed size and position are reproduced by the magnetic pinch effect and amplification of initial density asymmetry through the dynamical interaction.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tanaka{at}crl.go.jp

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