Modeling SNR Cassiopeia A from the Supernova Explosion to its Current Age: The role of post-explosion anisotropies of ejecta [HEAP]

The remnants of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) have complex morphologies that may reflect asymmetries and structures developed during the progenitor SN explosion. Here we investigate how the morphology of the SNR Cassiopeia A (Cas A) reflects the characteristics of the progenitor SN with the aim to derive the energies and masses of the post-explosion anisotropies responsible for the observed spatial distribution of Fe and Si/S. We model the evolution of Cas A from the immediate aftermath of the progenitor SN to the three-dimensional interaction of the remnant with the surrounding medium. The post-explosion structure of the ejecta is described by small-scale clumping of material and larger-scale anisotropies. The hydrodynamic multi-species simulations consider an appropriate post-explosion isotopic composition of the ejecta. The observed average expansion rate and shock velocities can be well reproduced by models with ejecta mass $M_{\rm ej}\approx 4M_{\odot}$ and explosion energy $E_{\rm SN}\approx 2.3\times 10^{51}$ erg. The post-explosion anisotropies (pistons) reproduce the observed distributions of Fe and Si/S if they had a total mass of $\approx 0.25\,M_{\odot}$ and a total kinetic energy of $\approx 1.5\times 10^{50}$ erg. The pistons produce a spatial inversion of ejecta layers at the epoch of Cas A, leading to the Si/S-rich ejecta physically interior to the Fe-rich ejecta. The pistons are also responsible for the development of bright rings of Si/S-rich material which form at the intersection between the reverse shock and the material accumulated around the pistons during their propagation. Our result supports the idea that the bulk of asymmetries observed in Cas A are intrinsic to the explosion.

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S. Orlando, M. Miceli, M. Pumo, et. al.
Mon, 14 Mar 16

Comments: 19 pages, 14 Figures; accepted for publication on ApJ