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  1. Abstract

    JWST Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) observations at 1.5–4.5μm have provided broadband and narrowband imaging of the evolving remnant of SN 1987A with unparalleled sensitivity and spatial resolution. Comparing with previous marginally spatially resolved Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) observations from 2004 to 2019 confirms that the emission arises from the circumstellar equatorial ring (ER), and the current brightness at 3.6 and 4.5μm was accurately predicted by extrapolation of the declining brightness tracked by IRAC. Despite the regular light curve, the NIRCam observations clearly reveal that much of this emission is from a newly developing outer portion of the ER. Spots in the outer ER tend to lie at position angles in between the well-known ER hotspots. We show that the bulk of the emission in the field can be represented by five standard spectral energy distributions, each with a distinct origin and spatial distribution. This spectral decomposition provides a powerful technique for distinguishing overlapping emission from the circumstellar medium and the supernova ejecta, excited by the forward and reverse shocks, respectively.

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  2. Abstract

    We present initial results from a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) survey of the youngest Galactic core-collapse supernova remnant, Cassiopeia A (Cas A), made up of NIRCam and MIRI imaging mosaics that map emission from the main shell, interior, and surrounding circumstellar/interstellar material (CSM/ISM). We also present four exploratory positions of MIRI Medium Resolution Spectrograph integral field unit spectroscopy that sample ejecta, CSM, and associated dust from representative shocked and unshocked regions. Surprising discoveries include (1) a weblike network of unshocked ejecta filaments resolved to ∼0.01 pc scales exhibiting an overall morphology consistent with turbulent mixing of cool, low-entropy matter from the progenitor’s oxygen layer with hot, high-entropy matter heated by neutrino interactions and radioactivity; (2) a thick sheet of dust-dominated emission from shocked CSM seen in projection toward the remnant’s interior pockmarked with small (∼1″) round holes formed by ≲0.″1 knots of high-velocity ejecta that have pierced through the CSM and driven expanding tangential shocks; and (3) dozens of light echoes with angular sizes between ∼0.″1 and 1′ reflecting previously unseen fine-scale structure in the ISM. NIRCam observations place new upper limits on infrared emission (≲20 nJy at 3μm) from the neutron star in Cas A’s center and tightly constrain scenarios involving a possible fallback disk. These JWST survey data and initial findings help address unresolved questions about massive star explosions that have broad implications for the formation and evolution of stellar populations, the metal and dust enrichment of galaxies, and the origin of compact remnant objects.

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  3. We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Type IIn supernova SN 2019zrk (also known as ZTF 20aacbyec). The SN shows a > 100 day precursor, with a slow rise, followed by a rapid rise to M  ≈ −19.2 in the r and g bands. The post-peak light-curve decline is well fit with an exponential decay with a timescale of ∼39 days, but it shows prominent undulations, with an amplitude of ∼1 mag. Both the light curve and spectra are dominated by an interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM), probably from previous mass ejections. The spectra evolve from a scattering-dominated Type IIn spectrum to a spectrum with strong P-Cygni absorptions. The expansion velocity is high, ∼16 000 km s −1 , even in the last spectra. The last spectrum ∼110 days after the main eruption reveals no evidence for advanced nucleosynthesis. From analysis of the spectra and light curves, we estimate the mass-loss rate to be ∼4 × 10 −2   M ⊙ yr −1 for a CSM velocity of 100 km s −1 , and a CSM mass of 1  M ⊙ . We find strong similarities for both the precursor, general light curve, and spectral evolution with SN 2009ip and similar SNe, although SN 2019zrk displays a brighter peak magnitude. Different scenarios for the nature of the 09ip-class of SNe, based on pulsational pair instability eruptions, wave heating, and mergers, are discussed. 
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  4. null (Ed.)