Image: Chandra's view of the Tycho Supernova remnant

Jul 25, 2014
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO

More than four centuries after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the supernova that bears his name, the supernova remnant it created is now a bright source of X-rays. The supersonic expansion of the exploded star produced a shock wave moving outward into the surrounding interstellar gas, and another, reverse shock wave moving back into the expanding stellar debris.

This Chandra image of Tycho reveals the dynamics of the explosion in exquisite detail. The outer shock has produced a rapidly moving shell of extremely high-energy electrons (blue), and the reverse shock has heated the expanding debris to millions of degrees (red and green). There is evidence from the Chandra data that these may be responsible for some of the cosmic rays – ultra-energetic particles – that pervade the Galaxy and constantly bombard the Earth.

Explore further: Mach 1000 shock wave lights supernova remnant

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mach 1000 shock wave lights supernova remnant

Nov 25, 2013

When a star explodes as a supernova, it shines brightly for a few weeks or months before fading away. Yet the material blasted outward from the explosion still glows hundreds or thousands of years later, ...

Was Kepler's supernova unusually powerful?

Sep 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—In 1604, a new star appeared in the night sky that was much brighter than Jupiter and dimmed over several weeks. This event was witnessed by sky watchers including the famous astronomer Johannes ...

Image: In the Constellation Cassiopeia

Jul 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Tycho's Supernova, the red circle visible in the upper left part of the image, is SN 1572 is a remnant of a star explosion is named after the astronomer Tycho Brahe, although he was not the ...

Space image: New supernova remnant lights up

Sep 13, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are witnessing the unprecedented transition of a supernova to a supernova remnant, where light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, ...

Image: A supernova cocoon breakthrough

Jul 10, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Using observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers have obtained the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that ...

Exploding stars and stripes

Mar 24, 2011

The discovery of a pattern of X-ray "stripes" in the remains of an exploded star may provide the first direct evidence that a cosmic event can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than achieved ...

Recommended for you

Image: Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

2 hours ago

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released ...

New window on the early Universe

Oct 22, 2014

Scientists at the Universities of Bonn and Cardiff see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from galaxies at the edge of ...

User comments : 0