Recently, a team of researchers has unveiled new light on the explosion of a star in a supernova which occurred more than 450 years ago by using Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer.
Why in news?
- The explosion of a supernova which was named Tycho was visible to people on Earth in 1572, and the shock wave from the blast is still propagating through the cosmos.
- Key facts about the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE)
- IXPE is an international collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency.
- It studies the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe – supernova remnants, supermassive black holes, and dozens of other high-energy objects.
- It is the first satellite dedicated to measuring polarized X-rays from objects, such as neutron stars and supermassive black holes, to reveal previously hidden details of the universe.
What is Tycho?
- The Tycho supernova is classified as a Type Ia supernova, which occurs when a white dwarf star in a binary system shreds its companion star, capturing some of its mass and triggering an explosion.
- Tycho released as much energy as the Sun would emit over ten billion years and blasted particles out into space near the speed of light.
- Researchers used IXPE to reveal the magnetic field geometry close to Tycho’s shock wave to investigate further how particles are accelerated there.
Q1) What is Polarimetry?
Polarimetry, a technique to measure the polarisation of light, is a powerful tool that allows astronomers to infer information about celestial objects, from passing comets to distant galaxies, that can not be obtained using other techniques