TiVo for Astronomers

Supernova are some of the most unpredictable, exciting, and short-lived events in space. But, now some researchers are using a pretty cool technique to rewind the explosion and play it back.

It’s called light echoes, and the group I mention in my National Geographic News article used the technique to find out what kind of supernova Cassiopeia A was.

I first learned about the technique a few years ago from Doug Welch at an astronomy conference. His group at McMaster University in Hamilton has also just had a paper approved for publication where they discuss finding the light echoes of Cassiopeia A and Tycho Brahe’s 1572 supernova.


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