The bolometric light curve of SN 1987A. I - Results from ESO and CTIO U to Q0 photometry Academic Article uri icon


  • Ultraviolet, optical, and infrared (uvoir) photometry of SN 1987A, representing the supernova flux from 0.32 to 20 m, is used to construct the bolometric light curve for days 1-903 since outburst. SN 1987A has declined exponentially with an e-folding time of 100 5 days from day 126 to day 903. The sum of the uvoir flux and the high-energy flux of the gamma-ray lines and x-ray continuum from model fits is consistent with the energy released by 0.055-0.090 script M sign of 56Co. No additional energy source greater than 1.5 1038 ergs s-1 on day 900 is present. By day 400, the flux at wavelengths larger than 5 m began to increase rapidly, and by day 650, it represented 80% of the uvoir flux. After day 600, the far-infrared source can be fit with a blackbody of temperature 200-400 K. The optical colors began to fade more rapidly at the time the far-infrared flux increased, consistent with dust formation local to the supernova. No more than 30% of the far-infrared flux can be due to thermal re-radiation of energy in a cloud behind SN 1987A along the line of sight (the "infrared echo") without violating the energy budget of SN 1987A, or requiring a larger fraction of high-energy photons to escape than are predicted by the models. The effective angular radius of the thermal component is 0.015 after day 600, which is consistent with the velocity of the emitting ejecta.

published proceedings

  • The Astronomical Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Suntzeff, N. B., & Bouchet, P.

citation count

  • 91

complete list of authors

  • Suntzeff, Nicholas B||Bouchet, Patrice

publication date

  • February 1990