The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still no evidence of the neutron star that current theory...

Sami on July 6, 2015

How is B the correct answer?

If the conclusion states that supernovas don't always produce neutron stars. Then how does answer choice B, which is about a Neutron star detected far away from the 1987 supernova, strengthen the conclusion? Shouldn't the correct answer choice offer evidence of a supernova happening without producing the effect of a Neuton star or something equivalent. I just don't understand how B can be the right answer.

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Naz on July 7, 2015

Conclusion: "current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars."

Why? The supernova of 1987 has no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after a supernova of that size. We also now that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit without finding any one for the supernova of 1987.

Well, what if the neutron star produced from the supernova of 1987 is just too far away to be detected even by the most sensitive instruments available. Then, the fact that there is no evidence of a neutron star does not mean that the current theory is not correct, since there could be a neutron star, it's just too far to be detected.

Therefore, answer choice (B) helps strengthen, since we know that neutron stars even farther away from the location of the 1987 supernova are able to be detected by these instruments. So, that means that the neutron star of the 1987 supernova is not just too far away for detection.

Remember, we want to strengthen the way that the premise helps lead us to the conclusion. Our premise is that despite exceptional instruments, there is no evidence of a neutron star. Answer choice (B) helps us by explaining that it isn't the fault of the instruments, i.e. that they cannot detect the distance of the neutron star, rather it is that there is no neutron star.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.