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Tycho Supernova Mysteries from the Medieval Ages Solved by NASA

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Symbol of Nasa. (Image credit- NASA)
A global team of researchers has conducted new research on the remains of a supernova that exploded 450 years ago. The results provided novel insights into the conditions under which supernovae, or large stellar explosions, accelerate particles nearly at the speed of light. The supernova remnant is known as Tycho, and it takes its name from the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who found it in the Cassiopeia constellation in 1572. Using NASA's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, the most recent study investigated polarised X-rays from the Tycho supernova remnant (IXPE). The magnetic fields around the shock wave, which is still expanding after the initial explosion and creates a barrier around the material ejected, were first made visible by Historical Supernovae IXPE. Tycho, one of the "historical supernovae," was noticed by humans in the past and had an impact on society and even art, according to a statement from Dr. Riccardo Ferrazzoli of the Italian National Center for Astrophysics in Rome. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="2502"]NASA's IXPE Unlocks Mysteries of Historic Tycho Supernova | NASA Image credit- NASA[/caption] By studying the polarisation of the light waves that make up X-rays from a high-energy source like Tycho, scientists may calculate the average direction and order of the magnetic field. By use of a process called "synchrotron emission," electrons moving in a magnetic field release polarised X-rays. The polarization direction of the X-rays can be used to determine the direction of the magnetic field at the location where the X-rays were produced. The ability to accelerate particles more swiftly than even the most powerful particle accelerators on Earth thanks to Tycho and other objects is one of the most difficult astrophysics questions to be solved. Thanks to IXPE, the magnetic field of Tycho was mapped with astonishing size and clarity. Older telescopes had spotted Tycho's magnetic field in radio waves, but IXPE found evidence of the field's shape on scales smaller than one parsec, or about 3.26 light-years. This information is crucial, according to NASA, as scientists attempt to comprehend how particles are propelled following the blast wave of the initial explosion. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="665"]Tycho Supernova Remnant | NASA Image credit- NASA[/caption] Type Ia supernovae, like the Tycho supernova, are caused when a white dwarf star in a binary system rips apart its partner star, stealing some of its material, and igniting a massive explosion. The destruction of the white dwarf causes debris to be sent hurtling into space at extraordinary speeds. It is believed that such events are the primary source of the vast majority of galactic cosmic rays, including those that are constantly bombarding Earth's atmosphere. The Tycho supernova explosion alone is thought to have generated as much energy as the Sun would over a period of 10 billion years. Also read: Supernova Is Captured By Hubble In A Unique Image As It Occurs The Tycho supernova was visible to the naked eye from Earth when it was found in 1572 by Brahe and other astronomers, possibly including an 8-year-old William Shakespeare. Around the 17th century, Shakespeare would go on to depict it in an early section of "Hamlet."

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