The Astrophysical Journal
Observations of the SN 1987A ejecta in four Co-56-decay gamma-ray lines, obtained using the SMM gamma-ray spectrometer between February 1987 and May 1989, are reported and analyzed. The instrument characteristics and data-reduction procedures are described, and the results are presented in extensive tables and graphs and discussed with reference to theoretical models. Gamma-ray fluxes significantly above possible instrumental levels (as determined from analysis of pre-1987 data) were detected in the second half of 1987 and the first half of 1988. The data are found to favor a model with some Co-56 in regions of low gamma-ray optical depth by 200 d after the SN outburst over models with all Co-56 at one depth within a uniform expanding envelope. Also investigated are the gamma-ray contribution to the total bolometric luminosity and the escape (and potential observability) of Co-57 gamma rays.
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