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Rights: APOD/NASA/CXC/SAO Published 17 September 2009 Size: 180 KB

From the cataclysmic explosion of the supernova, the heavier elements form.

The supernova is the final stage in the life of massive stars. The outer region of the star collapses and it Instantly rebounds off the inner core in a cataclysmic explosion. The extremely high level of energy allows further fusion reactions to occur, producing heavy elements like gold, silver and uranium. The supernova image shows Tycho’s Supernova Remnant – this expanding gas cloud is all that remains after a star went supernova. In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe noticed the presence of a ‘new’ bright light in the night sky and recorded its position and intensity in his writings. It has been named in his honour.

Acknowledgement: APOD/NASA/CXC/SAO