Herschel and ALMA measurements of dust and molecules in supernova 1987A

Margaret Meixner, Space Telescope Science Institute
Remy Indebetouw, University of Virginia
Mikako Matsuurae, University College London
Julia Kamenetzky, University of Colorado Boulder
Richard McCray, University of Colorado Boulder
Eli Dwekg, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
G. Zanardo, ICRAR
L. Staveley-Smith, ICRAR
T. Potter, ICRAR
M. Barlow, UCL
J. Yates, UCL
B. M. Swinyard, UCL
B. Arbutina, University of Belgrade
D. Urosevic, University of Belgrade
V. Zekovic, University of Belgrade
A. Bolatto, UMD
C. Vlahakis, ESO
R. Wesson, ESO
R. Chevalier, UVa
C. Fransson, Stockholms universitet
D. Burrows, Pennsylvania State University
M. Baes, Universiteit Gent
J. Verstappen, Universiteit Gent
I. De Looze, Universiteit Gent
G. Gentile, Universiteit Gent
J. Fritz, Universiteit Gent
P. Bouchet, CEA Saclay
K. Okumura, CEA Saclay
M. Sauvage, CEA Saclay
K. A. Misslet, UAz
H. L. Gomez, Cardiff University
T. Lim, RAL
M. A.T. Groenewegen, ROB


Dust production by supernovae is important in the dust life cycle of a galaxy. The explosion of SN 1987A was the nearest SN detected in the last 400 years, allowing us detailed studies of contemporary evolution of a supernova for the first time. In 2011, Matsuura et al. reported 0.4-0.7 M of dust in SN 1987A based on Herschel HERITAGE survey data, which is surprisingly large compared to prior measurements of supernovae. In this paper, we present our follow-up studies of this important discovery about SN 1987A using the Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). We highlight two important results, the detection of cold molecular gas and dust in the ejected material of SN 1987A. Our results suggest that SNe are significant producers of dust and molecules, as well as heavy elements, driving chemical evolution of galaxies.