Look at possibly the youngest neutron star. They've been looking for her for 33 years

Since astronomers witnessed one of the brightest star explosions in the night sky,

led to the creation of Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A),they were looking for a compact object that should have formed in the remnants of the explosion. Since particles known as neutrinos were discovered on Earth on the day of the explosion (February 23, 1987), astronomers expected a neutron star to form at the center of the supernova. But when scientists were unable to find any evidence for this star, they began to wonder if it subsequently fell into a black hole. For decades, the scientific community has been eagerly awaiting a signal from this object, which was hiding behind a very thick cloud of dust.

Recently observations from the ALMA radio telescope gavefirst signs of a missing neutron star. Very high-resolution images have revealed a hot "ball" in SN 1987A's dusty core, which is brighter than its surroundings and matches the assumed location of the neutron star.

ALMA images with extremely highresolution revealed a hot “drop” in the dusty core of Supernova 1987A (inset), which may have been the location of the missing neutron star. Red shows dust and cool gas at the center of the supernova remnant, taken from radio waves from ALMA. The green and blue hues show where the expanding shockwave from the exploding star collides with the ring of material around the supernova. Green represents the glow of visible light captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Blue represents the hottest gas and is based on data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The ring originally glowed with a flash of light from the original explosion. In subsequent years, the ring material cleared up significantly when the shock wave of the explosion crashed into it. Credit: ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), P. Tsigan and R. Indebetow; NRAO / AUI / NSF, B. Saxton; NASA / ESA

Although scientists were delighted with this result,they wondered about the brightness of a neutron star. A detected neutron star would be too bright to exist. However, another team of scientists then published a study that demonstrated that a neutron star can actually be that bright - simply because it is very young.

The illustration of the artist "Supernova 1987A"Shows the dusty interior regions of an exploded star remnant (in red) where a neutron star could be hiding. This inner region contrasts with the outer envelope (blue), where the supernova energy collides (green) with the envelope of gas ejected from the star before its powerful detonation. Credit: NRAO / AUI / NSF, B. Saxton.

A theoretical study from an astrophysicist at the University of Mexico fully supports the assumption made by the ALMA team - that a neutron star is feeding a dust particle.

Despite the enormous complexity of a supernova explosion and the extreme conditions that prevail inside a neutron star, the detection of a warm dust clump confirms several predictions.

Dani Page, astrophysicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, author of the second study

These predictions were location andthe temperature of the neutron star. According to computer models of supernovae, the explosion "threw" the neutron star from the place of birth at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per second (tens of times faster than the fastest rocket). The temperature of the detected hot "drop", the trail of a possible neutron star (predicted to be about 5 million degrees Celsius) provides enough energy to explain its brightness.

Such a neutron star isan extremely hot sphere 25 km wide made of superdense matter. A teaspoon of its material will weigh more than all the buildings in New York put together. As it may be only 33 years old, it will be the youngest neutron star ever found in our Milky Way Galaxy and its cosmic environs. The second youngest neutron star we know of is located in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, 11,000 light years away and 330 years old. The neutron star in SN 1987A lies 15 times farther in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

This is a colorful, multi-wavelength image of complexThe remains of Supernova 1987A were obtained from data from three different observatories. Red shows dust and cool gas at the center of the supernova remnant, taken from radio waves from ALMA. The green and blue hues show where the expanding shockwave from the exploding star collides with the ring of material around the supernova. Green represents the glow of visible light captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Blue represents the hottest gas and is based on data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The ring originally glowed with a flash of light from the original explosion. In subsequent years, the ring material cleared up significantly when the shock wave of the explosion crashed into it. Credit: ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), P. Tsigan and R. Indebetow; NRAO / AUI / NSF, B. Saxton; NASA / ESA

Only a direct image of a neutron star couldwould provide some evidence of its existence, but for that astronomers may need to wait several more decades until the dust and gas in the supernova remnant becomes more transparent.

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