Echoes from Ancient supernovae in the Large Magellanic Cloud

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In principle, historical supernovae could still be visible as scattered-light echoes even centuries later [1, 2]. Searches for surface brightness variations using photographic plates have not recovered any echoes in the regions of historical Galactic supernovae [3]. Using differenced images, our SuperMACHO collaboration has discovered three faint new variable surface brightness complexes with high apparent proper motion pointing back to well-defined positions in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). These correspond to three of the six smallest (and likely youngest) supernova remnants believed to be due to thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae [4]. A lower limit to the age of these remnants ... continued below

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Rest, A; Suntzeff, N B; Olsen, K; Prieto, J L; Smith, R C; Welch, D L et al. June 15, 2005.

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In principle, historical supernovae could still be visible as scattered-light echoes even centuries later [1, 2]. Searches for surface brightness variations using photographic plates have not recovered any echoes in the regions of historical Galactic supernovae [3]. Using differenced images, our SuperMACHO collaboration has discovered three faint new variable surface brightness complexes with high apparent proper motion pointing back to well-defined positions in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). These correspond to three of the six smallest (and likely youngest) supernova remnants believed to be due to thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae [4]. A lower limit to the age of these remnants and echoes is 200 years given the lack of any reported LMC supernovae until 1987. The discovery of historical supernova echoes in the LMC suggests that similar echoes for Galactic supernovae such as Tycho, Kepler, Cas A, or SN1006 could be visible using standard image differencing techniques.

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PDF-file: 15 pages; size: 0.6 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Nature; Journal Volume: 438; Journal Issue: 7071

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-212979
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 883824
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc892217

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 15, 2005

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  • Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 5:09 p.m.

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Rest, A; Suntzeff, N B; Olsen, K; Prieto, J L; Smith, R C; Welch, D L et al. Echoes from Ancient supernovae in the Large Magellanic Cloud, article, June 15, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc892217/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.