, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This composite image of the Tycho supernova remnant combines infrared and X-ray observations obtained with the Spitzer and Chandra space observatories and the Calar Alto observatory. It shows the scene more than 4 centuries after the brilliant explosion witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other contemporary astronomers as “Stella Nova”. The thermonuclear explosion of the white dwarf star has left a several million degree hot cloud of expanding debris (green, yellow). The location of the blast’s outer shock wave can be seen as blue sphere of ultra-energetic electrons. Newly synthesized dust in the ejecta as well as heated pre-existing dust from the circumstellar medium of the supernova radiates at a wavelength of 24 micron (red). Fore- and background star in the image are white. Observers were Prof. John P. Hughes, Dr. Jeonghee Rho and Dr. Oliver Krause.