Ciencia.-Webb reveals new structures inside a famous supernova – Publimetro México

Madrid, 31 years old (European press)

SN 1987A is located 168,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and has been the subject of intense observations in wavelengths ranging from gamma rays to radio for nearly 40 years, since its discovery in February 1987. New observations by the NIRCam (Near Camera) webcam (Near Camera). infrared) provides a crucial clue to our understanding of how a supernova evolved over time to form its remnants.

This image reveals a central keyhole-like structure. This center is filled with the clumps of gas and dust from the supernova explosion. The dust is so dense that even the near-infrared light Webb detects cannot penetrate through it, forming the dark “hole” in the keyhole.

A shimmering tropical ring surrounds the inner keyhole, forming a band around the waist that connects two smooth arms of the outer rings in the shape of an hourglass. The equatorial ring, which was formed from material ejected tens of thousands of years before the supernova exploded, contains bright hot spots that appeared when the supernova shock wave struck the ring. Now even spots are found outside the ring, with emission diffuse around. These are the sites of the supernova impacts that hit most of the foreign material.

While these structures have been observed to varying degrees by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, Webb’s unparalleled sensitivity and spatial resolution revealed a new feature in the supernova remnant: tiny, crescent-shaped structures, NASA reports. .

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These crescents are believed to be part of the outer layers of gas released by the supernova explosion. Its brightness may be indicative of superluminescence, an optical phenomenon that results from seeing the expanding material in three dimensions. In other words, our angle of view makes it appear that there is more matter in these two crescents than there actually is.

The high resolution of these images is also great. Prior to Webb, the now-retired Spitzer Telescope had observed this supernova in the infrared over its lifetime, leading to key insights into how its emissions evolved over time. However, he has never been able to observe a supernova with such clarity and detail.

Myrtle Frost

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