SpaceJibe

December 4, 2008

Blast From The Past: Astronomers Resurrect 16th-Century Supernova

Filed under: Supernova — bferrari @ 6:02 pm

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2008) — Astronomers have used light echoes as a time machine to unearth secrets of

Multi-band image of the remnant of Tychos Supernova, composed from images taken with the 3.5 m telescope of Calar Alto and the camera Omega 2000 (infrared), the Spitzer space telescope (infrared) and the Chandra space telescope (X-rays). (Calar Alto Observatory)

Multi-band image of the remnant of Tycho's Supernova, composed from images taken with the 3.5 m telescope of Calar Alto and the camera Omega 2000 (infrared), the Spitzer space telescope (infrared) and the Chandra space telescope (X-rays). (Calar Alto Observatory)

one of the most influential events in the history of astronomy –a stellar explosion witnessed on Earth more than 400 years ago.

By using a Galactic cloud as interstellar “mirror” an international team led by Oliver Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany has now re-analysed the same light seen on Earth in the 16th century and have, for the first time, determined the exact type of the explosion that happened. Calar Alto Observatory has contributed to this discovery and these results were published in the scientific journal Nature, 4th December 2008 issue.

A brilliant new star appeared on the sky in early November 1572. The new star outshined all other stars in brightness and was even visible during daylight. It was widely observed by astronomers all around the world and it helped to change our understanding of the Universe forever. Precise measurements of the star position by the Spanish scientist Jerónimo Muñoz, professor at the University of Valencia, and the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, revealed that the star was located far beyond the Moon. This was inconsistent with the Aristotelian tradition that had dominated western thinking for nearly 2000 years. The supernova of 1572 was a cornerstone in the history of science and is today known as Tycho’s supernova.

The story continue here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203133809.htm

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