Chandra Reveals Elementary Nature of Cassiopeia A

In the center of a black background is a large circular object outlined by electric blue filaments that jolt and weave throughout the structure. The object, which is the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, includes strings of vibrant colors including purple, orange, yellow and blue.
NASA/CXC/SAO
CreditNASA/CXC/SAO
Historical DateDecember 12, 2017
Language
  • english

An image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the location of several elements produced by the explosion of a massive star. Cassiopeia A is a well-known supernova remnant located about 11,000 light years from Earth. Supernova remnants and the elements they produce are very hot — millions of degrees — and glow strongly in X-ray light. Chandra's sharp X-ray vision allows scientists to determine both the amount and location of these crucial elements objects like Cas A produce.