Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud was close enough to be seen by the naked eye when its light first reached Earth in February of 1987.  During the explosion’s peak, fingerprints of elements from oxygen to calcium were detected, representing the outer layers of the ejecta and soon after, signatures of the material synthesized in the inner layers could be seen in the radioactive decay of nickel-56 to cobalt-56, and its subsequent decay to iron-56. 

After more than 1000 hours of observation by Integral, high-energy X-rays from radioactive titanium-44 in supernova remnant 1987A have been detected for the first time. The radioactive decay has likely been powering the glowing remnant around the exploded star for the last 20 years.


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