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3D View of a Supernova Remnant January 6, 2009

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, supernova.

Cassiopeia A is remnant of an supernova about 11000 light year (3400 parsecs) away. The original supernova was thought to have been visible around 300 years ago, but except for a possible identification by Flamsteed in 1620, no record of its sighting is recorded. While faint in the visible spectrum its the brightest radio object in the sky, outside the solar system.

Observations using the Hubble telescope have shown that, despite the original belief that the remnants were expanding in a uniform manner, there are 2 opposing jets  that are traveling at 14000 kilometers per second. This speed is estimated to be 8800 km per second faster than the rest of the debris. Viewing the expanding star using colors to differentiate  chemical composition, it shows that similar materials often remain gathered together.

CassA in Radio, IR, Visible & X-ray (Chandra Space Telescope)

Cass A in Radio, IR, Visible & X-ray (Chandra Space Telescope)

Thanks to Tracey Delaney  of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her collaborators, by using Doppler data from the spectrum, she was able to do a 3D map of the elements in the explosion. “Now we can see for ourselves with this ‘hologram’ of supernova debris.” And you can see it in the movie below:

Click to see

Click to see



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