Supernovae pp 393-404 | Cite as

The SN 1987A Neutrino Signal and the Future

  • Adam Burrows
Conference paper
Part of the Santa Cruz Summer Workshops in Astronomy and Astrophysics book series (SANTA CRUZ)


As brilliant as SN1987A was and is in light, on February 23, 1987 at 7h35m41s universal time, startling proof was obtained that photons were not its most spectacular radiation. It was then that two massive underground detectors, the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven (1MB) detector in the U.S. [1] and the Kamiokande II (KII) detector in Japan [2], registered supernova neutrinos for the first time. Within only about ten seconds, the general theory developed by a generation of astrophysicists over the past thirty years connecting supernova explosions and the death of massive stars with prodigious neutrino bursts was transformed into a concrete fact, and extragalactic neutrino astronomy was born. Neutrinos interact very weakly with matter and can penetrate with ease the earth, the sun, and even the envelope of the 15 to 20 solar mass (M) blue star that exploded as SN1987A. The transparency of the progenitor star to the neutrino we now know are generated in its dies makes a supernova’s neutrino signal the only good diagnostic of the violet internal convuldions that attend stellar death.


Neutron Star Solar Mass Neutrino Data Neutrino Emission Small Magellanic Cloud 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Burrows

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