Soft X-rays (0.5-2 keV) were detected with the ROSAT PSPC from the direction of SN 1987A, which falls within an association in the LMC that is rich in B stars. The emission is consistent with two point sources in the LMC with total luminosity of ∼ 1034 ergs s-1. The brighter source is identified with SN 1987A on the basis of its positional agreement. We interpret the emission as arising from the interaction of supernova ejecta with the pre-existing blue giant wind. The second source may be an unidentified Be/X-ray binary. Another possibility is that the second source is an X-ray echo from the supernova outburst. The X-ray echo interpretation requires that the supernova emitted ∼ 1047 ergs in a burst of soft X-rays.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Supernova remnants
- Supernovae: individual: (SN 1987A)
- X-rays: stars