Tycho's Supernova, 400+ Years LaterS

It's not often that you get to gaze on astronomical coolness and feel connected to our own history. Here's a new composite image of the white dwarf-star supernova Tycho Brahe observed in 1572.

You can see the supernova's aftermath really clearly in this picture: the green and yellow images are expanding debris, captured by X-ray imaging. And the blue line is also X-ray images, capturing the blast's outer shock wave. The red part of the image is infrared, showing newly synthesized dust from the ejected material, and heated pre-existing dust from area around the supernova.

The image comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra Observatory, plus Spain's Calar Alto Observatory. You can download a whole range of desktop patterns here. [Chandra Observatory]