Brahe observing the supernova of 1572

Brahe observing the supernova of 1572

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Brahe observing the supernova of 1572. Historical artwork of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) on 11 November 1572 observing the supernova later named SN 1572. This observation took place from Herrevad Abbey, a Cistercian monastery now in southern Sweden but then in Denmark. A supernova is the explosive death of a massive star. This supernova became as bright as the planet Venus, and was visible in daylight for two weeks. It remained visible at night to the naked eye for around 16 months. SN 1572 is several thousand light years from Earth, in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

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