SN 1006: X-Ray View of A Thousand-Year-Old Cosmic Tapestry

April 17, 2013 8:57 PM

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SN 1006: X-Ray View of A Thousand-Year-Old Cosmic Tapestry

This year, astronomers around the world have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of X-ray astronomy. Few objects better illustrate the progress of the field in the past half-century than the supernova remnant known as SN 1006.

When the object we now call SN 1006 first appeared on May 1, 1006 A.D., it was far brighter than Venus and visible during the daytime for weeks. Astronomers in China, Japan, Europe, and the Arab world all documented this spectacular sight. With the advent of the Space Age in the 1960s, scientists we...

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