New telescopes have allowed modern scientists to observe light echoes of the same supernova that Tycho Brahe described 436 years ago. "Last month, the ability of modern telescopes to observe these faint and fleeting light echoes is a kind of time machine. It reveals what happened in an old supernova explosion when the opportunity for direct observation seems long gone."
Armin Rest of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics chose light echoes from both Tycho’s 1572 supernova and Cassiopeia A.to study. “I think it’s cool that I can look at the sky and still see the same light that Tycho did,” says Rest’s team member and Texas A&M astronomer Nicholas Suntzeff.