The remains of a stellar explosion, 13,000 lightyears away

A supernova remnant displays an odd, lumpy appearance in a new astro image.

Published: November 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm
Try BBC Sky at Night Magazine today and save 30%!
Tycho supernova remnant. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al; Optical: DSS

Tycho as you’ve never seen it before: the remnant of a supernova 13,000 lightyears away in the constellation Cassiopeia.


The lumpy appearance revealed in this image may be the star’s explosive death itself or possibly an after effect.

One theory is that the lumps are the result of an explosion with multiple ignition points – like millions of dynamite sticks igniting simultaneously.


Image stats

  • Observatories Chandra X-ray Observatory, Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Release date 17 October 2019
  • Image credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al; Optical: DSS


Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.

Sponsored content