NASA finds new information from star that exploded more than 450 years ago

28 February (UPI) - New information has been discovered from a stellar explosion that occurred more than 450 years ago that sent electrons close to the speed of light.

Scientists examined the Tycho explosion remnants using NASA's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer. They learned how Tycho accelerates electrons faster than any particle collider on Earth, approaching the speed of light.

A scholar at the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome, which collaborates with NASA on the IXPE project, said in a statement that Tycho was one of the so-called historical supernovae and had a long-lasting societal and even creative effect. "450 years after it first appeared in the heavens, it's thrilling to be here and see this object again with fresh eyes and learn from it."

The Tycho supernova blast alone, according to NASA, unleashed as much energy as the Sun would produce over the period of 10 billion years. Many people on Earth could see the explosion in 1572.

Astronomers were able to get as near to seeing the cosmic ray source as they have ever been able to by examining Tycho's magnetic field's structure.

Patrick Slane, an associate astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in a statement that the transformation of a supernova remnant into a massive particle accelerator includes a careful tango between order and disorder. Although IXPE is demonstrating that there is also a large-scale regularity, or coherence, involved that extends all the way down to the locations where the acceleration is occurring, strong and chaotic magnetic fields are still necessary.