The 30 Year Search for the Compact Object in SN 1987A

Dennis Alp, Josefin Larsson, Claes Fransson, Remy Indebetouw, Anders Jerkstrand, Antero Ahola, David Burrows, Peter Challis, Phil Cigan, Aleksandar Cikota, Robert P. Kirshner, Jacco Th. van Loon, Seppo Mattila, C. -Y. Ng, Sangwook Park, Jason Spyromilio, Stan Woosley, Maarten Baes, Patrice Bouchet, Roger ChevalierKari A. Frank, B. M. Gaensler, Haley Gomez, Hans-Thomas Janka, Bruno Leibundgut, Peter Lundqvist, Jon Marcaide, Mikako Matsuura, Jesper Sollerman, George Sonneborn, Lister Staveley-Smith, Giovanna Zanardo, Michael Gabler, Francesco Taddia, J. Craig Wheeler

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Despite more than 30 years of searching, the compact object in Supernova (SN) 1987A has not yet been detected. We present new limits on the compact object in SN 1987A using millimeter, near-infrared, optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray observations from ALMA, VLT, HST, and Chandra. The limits are approximately 0.1 mJy (0.1 x 10(-26) erg s(-1) cm(-2) Hz(-1)) at 213 GHz, 1 L-circle dot (6 x 10(-29) erg s(-1) cm(-2) Hz(-1)) in the optical if our line of sight is free of ejecta dust, and 10(36) erg s(-1) (2 x 10(-30) erg s(-1) cm(-2) Hz(-1) ) in 2-10 keV X-rays. Our X-ray limits are an order of magnitude less constraining than previous limits because we use a more realistic ejecta absorption model based on three-dimensional neutrino-driven SN explosion models. The allowed bolometric luminosity of the compact object is 22 L-circle dot if our line of sight is free of ejecta dust, or 138L(circle dot) if dust-obscured. Depending on assumptions, these values limit the effective temperature of a neutron star (NS) to

Original languageEnglish
Article number174
Number of pages24
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018


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