Artist Concept of light echo geometry

Flashes from the Past: Echoes from Ancient Supernovae |  A team led by astronomers from CTIO has found faint visible echoes of three ancient supernovae by detecting their centuries-old light as it is reflected by clouds of interstellar dust hundreds of light-years removed from the original explosions. The oldest one is likely to have occurred more than six hundred years ago. More in NOAO Press Release 05-12.

Additionally, the team has used the Gemini South telescope in Chile to obtain a detailed spectrum of an echo of light from an ancient supernova that enables them to identify the original star’s cause of death. More in NOAO Press Release 06-02.

Credit: P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF