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Astronet_ScienceVision

Astronet_ScienceVision

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Published by Nicolas Epchtein

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Published by: Nicolas Epchtein on Dec 04, 2010
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07/30/2015

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High spatial resolution observations of future explosions, both before and after
theevent,willberequiredforasecureidentificationofthesupernovaprogenitor
relative to nearby, unrelated objects. This needs large telescopes with adaptive
optics,aswillbeavailablewithanELT.LittleisknownabouttheTypeIaprogen-
itors; a binary nature for thermonuclear supernovae has been postulated, but
direct detection is out of the question, as the white dwarfs and the companions
are too faint to be seen in external galaxies. Possible indirect detections include
early X-ray, optical, or radio emission during the first few days of the explosion,
when the shock may interact with circumstellar material. The statistics of merg-

2.4 How do supernovae and gamma-ray bursts work?

33

ing white dwarf binaries, with future gravitational wave detectors, would im-
prove the constraints on the progenitor models. A radio telescope with a 1 km2
collecting area is expected to detect 20000–30000 pulsars. This will provide ex-
cellent statistics of a direct birth product of supernovae and their kick velocities.

The next core-collapse supernova in the Galaxy will certainly be detected by a
variety of neutrino observatories providing a unique tool for studying nuclear
matter in the extreme state encountered in the supernova core, and the time
evolution of the energy spectra of the various flavours are sensitive to (matter-
enhanced) neutrino oscillations in the stellar envelope. Through detailed stud-
ies it will be possible to distinguish between the normal and inverted neutrino
mass ordering, and perhaps even reconstruct the internal shock structure. A
clear identification of subtle effects due to flavour oscillations can be made by
a megaton-class water Cherenkov detector or a 50-kiloton-class liquid scintil-
lation detector. Novel experimental set-ups such as a 100 kiloton-class liquid
argon time projection chamber would be a valuable complement.

It is expected that high energy neutrinos are produced in the gamma-ray burst
fireball by photonuclear interactions of the observed gamma-rays with the pro-
tons accelerated by the internal shock(s). The production of high-energy neutri-
nos in gamma-ray bursts will create a diffuse high energy neutrino background,
which should generate about 10 events per year in a kilometre-scale Cherenkov
detector. It may be possible to detect individual nearby bursts in conjunction
with accurate timing and positional information provided by observations of
the electromagnetic burst.

A detailed observational analysis of the result of the explosion has only been
possible for SN 1987A. The value of this object for supernova research has been
enormous. Future facilities will allow investigation of more distant and fainter
objects to the same level of detail. With an ELT, in combination with the infrared
capabilities of JWST, the study of a representative sample of different types of
supernovae, including supernovae related to gamma-ray bursts, will become
possible. In particular, observations of the nucleosynthesis and deviations from
spherical symmetry will provide important tests of hydrodynamical explosion
models for these events.

The VLA can detect emission from supernova-circumstellar interaction only for
the nearest supernovae. The rapid evolution of the gamma-ray bursts make
observing them very difficult. The proposed SKA would provide access to long
radio wavelengths, which are important for using synchrotron self-absorption
as a diagnostic. All-sky monitors, such as LOFAR in the radio, or an orbiting
X-ray monitor, will detect the supernova and gamma-ray-burst blast waves as
early as possible and follow their evolution. Sensitive X-ray telescopes, such as
XEUS,willprovidecomplementaryfollow-upintheX-rays,offeringdiagnostics
of both line and continuum emission.

34

Do we understand the extremes of the Universe?

Ground-based gravitational wave detectors will, within 6-8 years, be sensitive
enough to be able to determine whether short gamma-ray bursts are associated
with mergers of neutron stars or of neutron stars with black holes, and to pro-
vide statistics on the narrowness of their gamma-ray beams. These detectors
may also be sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves from the next super-
nova in the Galaxy, which would provide unique information on the explosion
mechanism and the nuclear physics deep in the core.

The invaluable information on supernovae and gamma-ray bursts provided by
new observational facilities will have to be supplemented by complex numer-
ical simulations of the explosions, requiring the largest supercomputers. For
the white dwarf explosions the computational requirements are daunting as the
thermonuclear flames have to be resolved, while the effects on the complete star
have to be calculated in time-dependent and fully three-dimensional simula-
tions. For the core-collapse simulations, one has to add the neutrino physics
and a full description of general relativistic effects. Access to supercomputer
facilities is therefore essential.

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