After 32 years of searching, astronomers find ‘missing’ neutron star hidden in supernova

Astronomers discovered a stellar explosion in the Grand Magellanic Cloud 32 years ago, but the event should have left behind a dense collapse core, the neutron star, according tomedia CNET. However, the explosion of stars, known as Supernova 1987A, sent a lot of gas and dust into the universe. All the excess dust prevented astronomers from observing neutron stars. But now astronomers have finally found the “zombie” star’s hiding place with clear new images.

After 32 years of searching, astronomers find 'missing' neutron star hidden in supernova

The study, published In the Astrophysical Journal on November 19, examined a thick dust cloud around Supernova 1987A, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 168,000 light-years from Earth, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA). Astronomers gazed at the thick smoke in space and were able to find what they thought was dust with neutron stars.

Phil Cigan, an astronomer at Cardiff University and the first author of the study, said: “This is the first time we have known that there is a neutron star inside the clouds in the supernova remnants. Its light is obscured by a very thick cloud of dust, which obscures many wavelengths of direct light emitted by neutron stars. “

The 66 telescopes that make up ALMA, located in the Chilean desert, were used alongside the Event Horizon telescope to capture images of the first black hole ever recorded earlier this year. The researchers used the array to observe submillimeter wavelengths of light, which helped to open the dust “curtain” of hidden stars.

Supernova 1987A was first discovered in February 1987 and provides researchers with one of the best examples of exploring the phenomena of the universe, eventually revealing a wealth of content about the life of the giant star and what happens when it collapses.

Astronomers have raised many questions about the fate of the supernova star because of the heroism of the neutron star’s “hide-and-seek” behavior. Other researchers have speculated that further collapse could lead to black holes, or unusual stars called quarks.

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