JWST spies hints of a neutron star left behind by supernova 1987A

Do new observations solve a 37-year-old mystery of what happened in the explosion’s aftermath?

This false-color composite space image shows a bright ring of swirling dust and gas around a bright blue spot, both remnants of the supernova explosion dubbed 1987A. The blue spot marks an area of highly ionized atoms, as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope, suggesting the explosion left behind some kind of neutron star.

This composite false-color image shows the remnants of supernova 1987A. The rings of gas and dust were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The blue region marks where the James Webb Space Telescope detected light from highly ionized atoms, presumably surrounding an unseen neutron star.