From the Chandra X-ray Observatory
This 14-hour Chandra observation of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) gives the best map yet of heavy elements ejected in a supernova explosion. This image is 8.5 arc minutes on a side, corresponding to 28.2 light years at a distance of 11,000 light years. The elements are part of a gas that has a temperature of about 50 million degrees Celsius. The colors represent intensity of X-rays, with yellow the most intense, then red, purple, and green.
This broadband image, which shows all the X-rays detected from Cas A, is more symmetric than the others. This could be due to the presence of X-rays from synchrotron radiation by extremely high energy particles spiraling in the magnetic field of the remnant, or to shock waves traveling through material puffed off thousands of years before the supernova.
Image Title: Chandra X-ray Image of Cas A
Based on internet text accompanying photograph
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/PSU/G. Garmire, R. Griffiths (CMU)
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Last Modified On: Saturday, December 16, 2000