Nucleosynthetic layers in the shocked ejecta of cassiopeia a

Karl Isensee, Greg Olmschenk, Lawrence Rudnick, Tracey Delaney, Jeonghee Rho, J. D. Smith, William T. Reach, Takashi Kozasa, Haley Gomez

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    14 Scopus citations


    We present a three-dimensional analysis of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A using high-resolution spectra from the Spitzer Space Telescope. We observe supernova ejecta both immediately before and during the shock-ejecta interaction. We determine that the reverse shock of the remnant is spherical to within 7%, although the center of this sphere is offset from the geometric center of the remnant by 810kms-1. We determine that the velocity width of the nucleosynthetic layers is 1000kms-1 over 4000 arcsec2 regions, although the velocity width of a layer along any individual line of sight is <250kms-1. Si and O, which come from different nucleosynthetic layers in the progenitor star, are observed to be coincident in velocity space in some directions, but segregated by up to 500kms-1 in other directions. We compare these observations of the nucleosynthetic layers to predictions from supernova explosion models in an attempt to constrain such models. Finally, we observe small-scale, corrugated velocity structures that are likely caused during the supernova explosion itself, rather than hundreds of years later by dynamical instabilities at the remnant's reverse shock.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number126
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


    • ISM: individual objects (Cassiopeia A)
    • ISM: supernova remnants
    • X-rays: ISM
    • infrared: ISM
    • supernovae: general

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