Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Lister Staveley-Smith
Title Supernova Remnant 1987A after 23 years

The explosions of massive and degenerate stars allow us probe extreme physics. These explosions are also important in governing the rate of evolution of galaxies through their mechanical and chemical feedback on the interstellar medium. Supernovae have proved extremely important in allowing us to probe the distance scale, thereby leading to the discovery of the dark energy. However, the physics of supernovae and their remnants is extremely diverse. For many years, we have been studying the radio evolution of one such remnant, that of SN1987A. Being the brightest supernova in modern times, this supernova has been responsible for a number of discoveries including the first extrasolar neutrinos. I report on recent observations of SN1987A which reveal that it growing extraordinarily bright at radio wavelengths and will show new 3D simulations by my student, Toby Potter, which reveal the cause of the radio emission and its likely future course.