The Webb Telescope Just Discovered the Holy Grail in a Famous Supernova

Scientists finally believe they have the answer to what happened to a star that died in its star. famous supernova explosion Not far from home.

this James Webb Space Telescope Strong evidence found supporting the existence of neutron stars, one of the densest objects on Earth space,In its infancy.Although some supernovae produce new black holecreated by others neutron star When the core of a massive star collapses.

Although astronomers have known about neutron stars for decades, no one had actually seen how these objects form before. The search for neutron stars in this close-in supernova remnant has long been considered a Holy Grail mission.

Claes Fransson of Stockholm University, lead author of the study, said in a statement: “With this observatory, we have now discovered emission caused by a newborn compact object, most likely a neutron star. direct evidence.” NASA.

Scientists see this kind of stellar explosion for the first time – Known as SN 1987A ——Observed with the naked eye nearly 40 years ago in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way about 160,000 light-years away from us. Since then, they have studied it using radio, gamma-ray and X-ray wavelengths – looking for clues in the ashes as to what happened to the deceased star.

Mix and match speed of light

But supernovae, by their very nature, produce large amounts of dust that obscure the view. Dying stars and supernovae are element factories: for example, they make carbon, the same chemical that makes carbon. Humanity and most of life on Earth are based onThey then spread elements like calcium from bones and iron from blood into interstellar space.

This kind of dispersion Stars and planets that seed new generationsBut scientists admit they still have a lot to learn about the early stages of the process.

The James Webb Space Telescope has observed the best evidence of neutron star emission in the supernova remnant SN 1987A.
Image credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / Claes Fransson / Mikako Matsuura / M. Barlow / Patrick Kavanagh / Josefin Larsson

Weber, Leading infrared telescope, finally able to “see” things that other telescopes cannot. This new research, Published this week in diary science, evidence of highly ionized argon (i.e., charged argon atoms) was found in the center of the explosive material. Researchers believe the most likely explanation for the argon gas changes is ionizing radiation from neutron stars.

“In order to produce these ions that we observe in the ejecta, it is clear that a source of high-energy radiation must be present at the center of the SN 1987A remnant,” Fransen said in a statement. “Only a few scenarios are possible. ”, all involving a newborn neutron star. “

Solving the mystery may help scientists better understand how stellar corpse Develop over time.

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