SN 1988Z is the most luminous X-ray-emitting supernova, initially detected in 1995 using the ROSAT HRI with the luminosity of approx. 8x10(exp 40) erg/s . Its high luminosity was ascribed to expansion of the blast wave into an especially dense circumstellar medium. In this paper, we describe a recent observation of SN 1988Z using the ACIS detector on CHANDRA. We readily detect SN 1988Z, obtaining approx. 30 net counts which corresponds to a 0.2-2.0 keV luminosity of approx. 3.2x10(exp 39) erg/s. The calculated quantiles for the extracted counts allow a broad range of temperatures, but require a temperature hotter than 5 keV if there is no intrinsic absorption. The X-ray luminosity indicates that the emitting region has a high density (10(exp 5)/cu cm)and that the density profile is not consistent with a constant mass loss stellar wind during the approx. 5,000 years before the explosion. If the circumstellar medium is due to progenitor mass loss, then the mass loss rate is extremely high (approx.10(exp -3) Solar Mass/yr(V(sub omega)/10 km/s)). The X-ray results are compared with the predictions of models of SN 1988Z.
Goddard Space Flight Center; Marshall Space Flight Center