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August 29, 2004

The death of a star - supernova remnant Cassiopeia A

casa_xray_m

Above is the most detailed image ever made of the remains of an exploded star.

The one-million-second-exposure image shows a bright green outer ring 10 light years in diameter, marking the location of a shock wave generated by the supernova explosion.

The colors represent different ranges of X-rays with red, green and blue representing low, medium and higher X-ray energies, respectively.

A large jet-like structure protrudes beyond the shock wave in the upper left.

The bright source in the center is presumed to be a neutron star created during the supernova.

The photo above and the one below,

casa_broadband

showing the supernova in broadband wavelengths, were both released this week by NASA.

Below is Cassiopeia A in an image taken in 1999.

casa-72l

A lot happens in five years.

All three pictures were taken by the Earth-orbiting Chandra x-ray observatory telescope.

August 29, 2004 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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