X-rays reveal how the 450-year-old Tycho supernova became a giant cosmic particle accelerator

a massive purple explosion in space
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The white dwarf that led to the historic Tycho supernova died in a violent explosion, but its legacy resembles a fluffy pink cotton ball.

The last picture released (opens in new tab) on February 28 it shows Tycho supernova remnant (Tychos supernova or Tycho) as a neon pink cloud edged by a thin red line. In new research, astronomers have mapped in unprecedented detail the geometry of the magnetic fields near the shock wave, which is where they say charged particles are accelerated to light-like speeds before streaming out as cosmic rays which eventually rains down on the earth.

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