How Tycho Brahe’s recordings in 1572 support SN 1572 as a type I(a) supernova

Tobias Cornelius Hinse*, Bertil Dorch, Lars V. T. Occhionero, Jakob Povl Holck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


The 450th anniversary of the discovery of the SN 1572 supernova event was celebrated in 2022. A closer look at the historical development of the field of supernova astronomy reveals the scientific importance of Tycho Brahe’s 1572 observations of this “new star.” In their quest to learn more about the new type of stellar explosion and subsequent evolution, the initial protagonists in this field (Baader and Zwicky among others) gradually turned their attention to the final remnant state of these supernova events. Since the remnant object thought to be associated with the extragalactic supernova event was found to be very dim, the focus quickly shifted toward nearby galactic events. It is at this point where Tycho Brahe’s observations played an important and often overlooked role in the context of the development of stellar evolution as a scientific field. Tycho Brahe’s meticulous and detailed recordings of the change in brightness of the new star not only allowed modern astronomers to classify SN 1572 as a supernova event but also helped them pinpoint the exact astrometric location of SN 1572. These findings helped to empirically link extragalactic supernova events to nearby past supernova remnants in the Milky Way. This enabled subsequent observations allowing further characterization. Transforming the historical recordings to a standardized photometric system also allowed the classification of SN 1572 as a type I supernova event.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1255481
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 12. Sept 2023
Event450-året for Tycho Brahes supernova i 1572: 2022 markerer 450-året for Tycho Brahes observation af en supernova i konstellationen Cassiopeia i november 1572: Tychos observation udgør en historisk baggrund for bl.a. viden om tunge stjernes udvikling og endeligt som supernovae. Tycho Brahe er én af en håndfuld få verdenskendte danske naturvidenskabsfolk på linje med, hvis ikke over, både Ole Rømer, H.C. Ørsted og Niels Bohr. - University of Southern Denmark, University Library, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 1. Jan 202231. Dec 2023


Exhibition450-året for Tycho Brahes supernova i 1572
LocationUniversity of Southern Denmark, University Library
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Dedicated to my late mom, Meikse Sasse, who passed away in December 2022 - forever missed, never forgotten.


  • history and philosophy of astronomy
  • stars: individual: SN 1572, B Cassiopeia, Tycho’s star
  • supernovae: SN 1572
  • ISM: supernova remnants: SN 1572
  • stars: mass-loss
  • X-rays: general


Dive into the research topics of 'How Tycho Brahe’s recordings in 1572 support SN 1572 as a type I(a) supernova'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this