‘Lonely’ neutron star looks fantastic in these new close-up

The new composite image of a neutron star E0102, released on May 23, combines data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory (seen in blue and purple), the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile (in bright red) and the Hubble Space Telescope (in dark red and green).

(X-ray (NASA/CXC/ESO/F., Vogt et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/MUSE AND NASA/STScI))

A rare discovery twinkles in the remains of an old supernova: the first isolated neutron star ever found outside the Milky way. And researchers who are just their best look yet.

The Small Magellanic Cloud looks like a stain across the southern sky, but it is actually a nearby galaxy is filled with millions of stars 200,000 light years away. More than three decades ago, scientists have discovered a supernovadebris field in the Small Magellanic Cloud. But new images, combined with the comments from different telescopic instruments that demonstrate this substance and gas formations as never before. And more information about a rare neutron star is created as a result.

One thing that makes this neutron star makes it so special is that it is the first one that astronomers have found outside the Milky way. Designated 1E 0102.2-7219 (E0102 for short), the neutron star was extra difficult to find, because it is silly and “lonely”, according to a recent statement from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. [Diary of a Supernova: How (Some) Stars Blow]

As stars greater than 1.4 times the mass of the sun to the end of their life, they explode. In the final collapse, the star can condense in a high-mass stellar core, and the shape of a neutron star.

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Scientists initially spotted E0102 by watching the supernova clouds in the shape of a rose.

Back on March 2, Frédéric Vogt, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) fellow, published a paper on his research team work to find “p1,” a source of X-rays coming from the general direction of this supernova debris field. They used images from the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile to find the source of the X-rays, which they suspected was, in fact, a neutron star. Then, the team found a slowly expanding ring of gas in the clouds of the supernova remnants. This gave Vogt and his team, the neutron star location: in the centre of the expansion of the ring.

Since then, Vogt’s team published more findings on the neutron star. According to the Chandra statement released on May 23, the new composite image of E0102 combines data from Chandra (seen in blue and purple), MUSE ( bright red) and the Hubble Space Telescope (in dark red and green). The data suggest that the neutron star is indeed only without a companion star, and that it formed about 2000 years ago.

E0102 is the only lone neutron star with a low magnetic field to be spotted outside the Milky way, according to Chandra officials. And E0102 appears to be an extra-special star, because it is rich in oxygen. Massive stars fuse lighter elements into heavier before they explode, and the oxygen remains flying through space at millions of miles per hour, scientists can better understand the merger process during a massive star’s last moments.

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