Scattered-light echoes from the historical galactic supernovae Cassiopeia A and Tycho (SN 1572) Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the discovery of an extensive system of scattered-light echo arclets associated with the recent supernovae in the local neighborhood of the Milky Way: Tycho (SN 1572) and Cassiopeia A. Existing work suggests that the Tycho SN was a thermonuclear explosion while the Cas A supernova was a core-collapse explosion. Precise classifications according to modern nomenclature require spectra of the outburst light. In the case of ancient SNe, this can only be done with spectroscopy of their light echo, where the discovery of the light echoes from the outburst light is the first step. Adjacent light echo positions suggest that Cas A and Tycho may share common scattering dust structures. If so, it is possible to measure precise distances between historical Galactic supernovae. Ongoing surveys that alert on the development of bright scattered-light echo features have the potential to reveal detailed spectroscopic information for many recent Galactic supernovae, both directly visible and obscured by dust in the Galactic plane. 2008, The American Astronomical Society, All rights reserved.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Rest, A., Welch, D. L., Suntzeff, N. B., Oaster, L., Lanning, H., Olsen, K., ... Wood-Vasey, W. M.

citation count

  • 114

complete list of authors

  • Rest, A||Welch, DL||Suntzeff, NB||Oaster, L||Lanning, H||Olsen, K||Smith, RC||Becker, AC||Bergmann, M||Challis, P||Clocchiatti, A||Cook, KH||Damke, G||Garg, A||Huber, ME||Matheson, T||Minniti, D||Prieto, JL||Wood-Vasey, WM

publication date

  • July 2008