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SN1987a Facts

SN1987a Facts Supernova Remnant in Dorado

SN1987a is a supernova remnant object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of 170,000 light years away in the constellation of Dorado.

SN1987a was discovered in 1987 by Las Campanas Observatory.

The Supernova Remnant's location is 05:35:28.03 (R.A.) and -69:16:11.79 (Dec.).

SN1987a or supernova 1987 was a star that went supernova a long time ago (estimate 166,000 B.C.), its light finally reached us in 1987 hence its name. It is the brightest supernova to occur since the dawn of the telescope era and therefore of interest to astronomers. What is striking about this Supernova is that there is a lack of a Neutron star or a black hole that massive stars usually create. Its not been spotted yet because researchers have not been able to peer through the dust.

SN 1987 was the subject of Phil Plait's thesis for his doctorate. Phil Plait is best known for debunking myths with his Bad Astronomy range (book, and website). His twitter is Bad Astronomer but he is very good.

The Supernova light reached us on February 23-24, 1987 and was spotted in the southern hemisphere. The supernova remained visible for many months allowing scientists to study it. The star is on the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy that a companion galaxy to the milky way.

The cause of the explosion is a blue supergiant star rather than red giants such as Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse hasn't yet exploded but it is the most likely star to go supernova in the future. Ref: EarthSky

Fact File

TypeSupernova Remnant
Right Ascension05:35:28.03
Distance (Lt.Yr)170,000
Year of Discovery1987
DiscovererLas Campanas Observatory
CoprightN.A.S.A. E.S.A. Hubble

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