Image: In the Constellation Cassiopeia

Jul 14, 2010
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

(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 only person to observe and record the supernova.

When the supernova first appeared in November 1572, it was as bright as Venus and could be seen in the daytime.

Over the next two years, the supernova dimmed until it could no longer be seen with the naked eye. In the 1950s, the remnants of the supernova could be seen again with the help of telescopes.

When the star exploded, it sent out a into the surrounding material, scooping up and gas as it went, like a snow plow. An expanding shock wave traveled into the surroundings and a reverse shock was driven back in toward the remnants of the star.

Previous observations by NASA's indicate that the nature of the light that WISE sees from the supernova remnant is emission from dust heated by the shock wave.

To the right is a star-forming nebula of dust and gas, called S175. This cloud of material is about 3,500 light-years away and 35 light-years across. It is heated by radiation from the young, hot stars within it, and the dust within the cloud radiates .

Explore further: Next-generation Thirty Meter Telescope begins construction in Hawaii

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frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jul 15, 2010
Although not mentioned, SN 1752 is remarkable under a historical perspective.
It was the first one of quite a number of (to the naked eye) visible supernovae which was observed not only in China and other non-European regions of the world, but in Europe, too.
Especially SN 1054 which had been 4 times as bright as Venus, went unnoticed in the "dark ages" of Europe.
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 15, 2010
SN 1572 and SN 1604(Kepler's Star) were the last naked eye supernovae observed in our galaxy and were important in the early development of astronomy. Besides being at odds with Aristotle's view of the immutable heavens, these supernova helped spur the production of (more) accurate charts of the night sky.

I found this post somewhat confusing. The supplied image was taken by the WISE orbiting infrared observatory and shows (besides SN 1572) the emission nebula S175 near the center and the open cluster King 1 (blue stars at lower left). Also, the supernova was detected at radio wavelengths in 1952 and optically in the mid 60s, marking the first sightings of SN 1572 since it faded from view in 1574. A somewhat better description and larger images are at the WISE site: http://wise.ssl.b...SNR.html