In 1572, people on Earth saw the bright light of a supernova. Now, by combining different intensities of x-ray data, scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have created a new image of the debris left from that explosion, which hints at the origins of the cosmic blast.
Known as Tycho's supernova remnant, the space puffball includes a cloud of expanding debris (yellow) enveloped by a high-energy blast wave (blue). The latest image also shows an arc of high-energy x-rays (bottom left) that seems to be coming from a faster moving ball of material.
Astronomers think that the supernova happened when a white dwarf star siphoned so much material from a companion star that it exploded. The blast blew material off the sunlike companion, and that debris is now emitting the arc of x-rays.