MUSE view of the surroundings of a hidden neutron star in the Small Magellanic Cloud. This new picture from the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile shows how an elusive missing object was found amid a complex tangle of gaseous filaments in one of our nearest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud.
The wisps of gas forming the supernova remnant 1E 0102.2-7219 show up in blue, but the red ring in the MUSE data, revealing glowing neon and oxygen forms, is perfectly centred on an X-ray source — an isolated neutron star with a weak magnetic field, the first identified outside the Milky Way.
ESO/F. Vogt et al.