New Observational Insight on Shock Interactions Toward Supernovae and Supernova Remnants
AuthorKilpatrick, Charles Donald
AdvisorRieke, George H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSupernovae (SNe) are energetic explosions that signal the end of a star's life. These events and the supernova remnants (SNRs) they leave behind play a central role in stellar feedback by adding energy and momentum and metals to the interstellar medium (ISM). Emission associated with these feedback processes, especially atomic and molecular line emission as well as thermal and nonthermal continuum emission is known to be enhanced in regions of high density, such as dense circumstellar matter (CSM) around SNe and molecular clouds (MCs). In this thesis, I begin with a brief overview of the physics of SN shocks in Chapter 1, focusing on a foundation for studying pan-chromatic signatures of interactions between SNe and dense environments. In Chapter 2, I examine an unusual SN with signatures of CSM interaction in the form of narrow lines of hydrogen (Type IIn) and thermal continuum emission. This SN appears to belong to a class of Type Ia SNe that shares spectroscopic features with Type IIn SNe. I discuss the difficulties of decomposing spectra in a regime where interaction occurs between SN ejecta and CSM, potentially confusing the underlying SN type. This is followed by a discussion of rebrightening that occurred at late-time in 𝐵 and 𝑉 band photometry of this SN, possibly associated with clumpy or dense CSM at large distances from the progenitor. In Chapter 3, I examine synchrotron emission from Cassiopeia A, observed in the 𝐾ₛ band over multiple epochs. The synchrotron emission is generally diffuse over the remnant, but there is one location in the southwest portion of the remnant where it appears to be enhanced and entrained as knots of emission in the SNR ejecta. I evaluate whether the 𝐾ₛ band knots are dominated by synchrotron emission by comparing them to other infrared and radio imaging that is known to be dominated by synchrotron emission. Concluding that they are likely synchrotron-emitting knots, I measure the magnetic field strength and electron density required for their evolution over the ~ 10 yr baseline they were observed and find 𝐵 ≈ 1.3-5.8 mG and 𝑛ₑ≈ 1,000-15,000 cm⁻³. The magnetic field strengths appear enhanced beyond values required by the adiabatic strong shock limit, arguing in favor of other forms of magnetic field amplification in the shock. In Chapter 4, I again discuss Cassiopeia A and interaction between the remnant and nearby MCs as seen at mid-infrared and millimeter wavelengths. I report detection of a SNR-MC interaction and analyze its signatures in broadened molecular lines. I extend this analysis in Chapter 5 to a large survey for SNR-MC interactions in the ¹²CO 𝐽=2-1 line. Although broadened ¹²CO 𝐽=2-1 line emission should be detectable toward virtually all SNR-MC interactions, I find relatively few examples; therefore, the number of interactions is low. This result favors mechanisms other than supernova feedback as the basic trigger for star formation. In addition, I find no significant association between TeV gamma-ray sources and MC interactions, contrary to predictions that SNR-MC interfaces are the primary venues for cosmic ray acceleration. I end this dissertation in Chapter 6 with a brief summary of my results and two extensions of this work: examining the late-time radio light curves of CSM-interacting SNe for signatures of radio synchrotron emission and dense or clumpy CSM at large distances from the progenitor and re-observing SNR-MC interactions in ¹²CO 𝐽=3-2 in order to verify the presence of shock-heated molecular gas and perform a census on the densities and temperatures of post-shock molecular gas.
Degree ProgramGraduate College