ウェブ望遠鏡、若い超新星残骸の中心に中性子星の証拠を発見(Webb Finds Evidence for Neutron Star at Heart of Young Supernova Remnant)

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2024-02-22 NASA

NASAのジェームズ・ウェッブ宇宙望遠鏡は、最近観測された超新星の現場で中性子星からの放射の証拠を見つけました。SN 1987Aとして知られるこの超新星は、中心の残骸が中性子星またはブラックホールのいずれかを形成したことを意味する核崩壊型の超新星でした。このようなコンパクトな天体の証拠は長らく探求されてきましたが、これが初めて確認された高エネルギー放射の効果です。これにより、その可能性が高い若い中性子星の影響が検出されました。

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超新星1987A残骸のコンパクトな天体からの電離放射線による輝線 Emission lines due to ionizing radiation from a compact object in the remnant of Supernova 1987A

C. FRANSSON , M. J. BARLOW , P. J. KAVANAGH , J. LARSSON , […], AND B. VANDENBUSSCHE
Science  Published:22 Feb 2024
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.adj5796

Editor’s summary

The nearby supernova SN 1987A was visible to the naked eye, and its evolution has been observed over the ensuing decades. The explosion is thought to have produced a neutron star or black hole, but none has been directly detected. Fransson et al. observed a remnant of SN 1987A using near- and mid-infrared integral field spectroscopy. They identified emission lines of ionized argon that appear only near the center of the remnant. Photoionization models show that the line ratios and velocities can be explained by ionizing radiation from a neutron star illuminating gas from the inner parts of the exploded star. —Keith T. Smith

Abstract

The nearby Supernova 1987A was accompanied by a burst of neutrino emission, which indicates that a compact object (a neutron star or black hole) was formed in the explosion. There has been no direct observation of this compact object. In this work, we observe the supernova remnant with JWST spectroscopy, finding narrow infrared emission lines of argon and sulfur. The line emission is spatially unresolved and blueshifted in velocity relative to the supernova rest frame. We interpret the lines as gas illuminated by a source of ionizing photons located close to the center of the expanding ejecta. Photoionization models show that the line ratios are consistent with ionization by a cooling neutron star or a pulsar wind nebula. The velocity shift could be evidence for a neutron star natal kick.

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