Webb Reveals Amazing View of Supernova 1987 A Remnants

By Dr. Swapnil Surwase 3 Min Read

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) captures amazing view of Supernova. Captured image is remnants of supernova that exploded 36 years ago. James Webb Space Telescope captures this image by using it’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam). Primarily it shows expanding stars debris.

It shows new details of supernova remnant, located 168,000 light years away. Name of the supernova is SN 1987A (Supernova 1987 A). This details shows that what happens when big stars end their life cycle.

NASA begun Supernova 1987A study for nearly 40 years, due to it’s wavelengths ranging from gamma rays to radio waves.

NASA, ESA said in it’s Instagram post that,”Webb’s NIRCam provide clue to our understanding of how a supernova develops over time to shape it’s remnant.”

JWST captured image shows a keyhole at the centre. Inner ejecta (keyhole) is packed with gas and dust during supernova explosion, the dust is so dense that even NIRCam can not penetrate it, shaping the dark ‘hole’ in the keyhole.

A bright, equatorial ring surrounds the inner keyhole, forming a band around the waist that connects two faint arms of hourglass-shaped outer rings. The equatorial ring, formed from material ejected tens of thousands of years before the supernova explosion, contains bright hot spots, which appeared as the supernova’s shock wave hit the ring.

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Now spots are found even exterior to the ring, with diffuse emission surrounding it. These are the locations of supernova shocks hitting more exterior material.

Despite the decades of study since the supernova’s initial discovery, there are several mysteries that remain, particularly surrounding the neutron star that should have been formed in the aftermath of the supernova explosion. Like Spitzer, Webb will continue to observe the supernova over time. Its NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) instruments will offer astronomers the ability to capture new, high-fidelity infrared data over time and gain new insights into the newly identified crescent structures. Further, Webb will continue to collaborate with Hubble, Chandra, and other observatories to provide new insights into the past and future of this legendary supernova, NASA said in recent stories

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