• Question: I have been reading about Supernova 1987a. I found it a bit mysterious that no neutron star has been found, as a neutron star was meant to be found, considering it was a core-collapse supernova. Do you know why this is? I find this very interesting and mysterious, do you? From balletshoe1998 From Howell's School Llandaff

    Asked by balletshoes1998 to Adam, Catherine, Karen, Leila, Nazim on 14 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 14 Mar 2012:

      Wow. I actually don’t have the foggiest about this. But awesome question.

    • Photo: Karen Masters

      Karen Masters answered on 14 Mar 2012:

      Hmm that is interesting. My husband actually works on neutron stars, so I’ll ask him if he has any ideas. I wonder if it’s just too soon for any evidence of the neutron star to have emerged from the remnants of the supernova. Neutrinos were detected from the event (15 at once – which is a massive number from neutrino detectors) which does suggest neutrons were made out of protons and electrons (from memory the result is a neutron and a neutrino), but it only happened 15 years ago which is the same as an instant on astronomical timescales!

    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Well I know that the information from neutrinos says that an object *did* form in the middle, but the Hubble telescope hasn’t been able to see anything in visible light.

      It could be that the neutron star is shrouded by dust clouds, or that it became a small black hole, but not enough matter is around it to be able to detect it, or that it could have formed a different type of star – a quark star…

      Or maybe an advanced race of aliens managed to harness the energy from the neutron star and stop light escaping…. That’s actually a popular idea in science fiction!