In 1987, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Supernova SN 1987A, the closest event of its kind in 400 years. At the centre of the explosion, astronomers observed a mass of material. What did it contain inside? A neutron star or a black hole? We may perhaps have the answer.
As reported in The Astrophysical Journal, the observations of the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) strongly support the neutron star scenario. “we were very surprised to see this warm spot formed by a thick cloud of dust in the supernova remnant,” says co-author Mikako Matsuura of the University of Cardiff.”There must be something in the cloud that has heated the dust and makes it shine. That’s why we suggested that there is a neutron star hidden inside the dust cloud“.
This powder machine, in fact, seems to be heated by an incredibly hot object. At one point, the team even though it was too bright to be a neutron star. “Despite the supreme complexity of a supernova explosion and the extreme conditions that reign within a neutron star, the detection of a hot spot of dust is confirmation of several predictions” explains the lead author of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Dany Page study.
The object is 25 kilometres wide and should weigh several times the mass of the sun.