Shock breakout in SN 1987A

Lisa Ensman Physics, Adam S. Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Detailed models for the UV burst from SN 1987A are calculated using a two-temperature radiation hydrodynamics code. The sequence of events which occur during shock breakout is described, including the formation of a radiative precursor, the disappearance of the shock, and the growth of a thin, dense shell above the photosphere which gives rise to a new viscous, isothermal shock. Continuum spectra are calculated under the assumption that the emergent radiation is a dilute blackbody with a color temperature equal to the radiation temperature at the thermalization depth. This color temperature is 2-3 times higher than the effective temperature. Light-travel-time corrections have been included in the light curves and the spectra. Quantities most relevant to accurate modeling of the fluorescing ring around SN 1987A are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-755
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Shock waves supernova: individual (SN 1987A)
  • Supernova remnants


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