Untangling the Remains of Cassiopeia A

This image of X-ray light from a supernova remnant shows a nearly-circular mess of colors representing different wavelengths of X-ray light. Near the center is a blotchy patch of electric blue light. Surrounding and interweaving with that are wisps of yellow, orange and red. A plume of green juts out on the left side of the blast, with green edging around the orange light on the top and bottom of the blast. And a faint ring of pale yellow light surrounds the main ball of color.
February 19, 2014
Historical DateFebruary 19, 2014
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The mystery of how Cassiopeia A exploded is unraveling thanks to data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. In this image, NuSTAR data, which show high-energy X-rays from radioactive material, are colored blue. Lower-energy X-rays from non-radioactive material, imaged previously with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, are shown in red, yellow and green.