Sizzling Remains of a Dead Star

Nustar_nustar130107c_500

nustar_nustar130107c January 7th, 2013

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This new view of the historical supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, located 11,000 light-years away, was taken by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. Blue indicates the highest energy X-ray light, where NuSTAR has made the first resolved image ever of this source. Red and green show the lower end of NuSTAR's energy range, which overlaps with NASA's high-resolution Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Light from the stellar explosion that created Cassiopeia A is thought to have reached Earth about 300 years ago, after traveling 11,000 years to get here. While the star is long dead, its remains are still bursting with action. The outer blue ring is where the shock wave from the supernova blast is slamming into surrounding material, whipping particles up to within a fraction of a percent of the speed of light. NuSTAR observations should help solve the riddle of how these particles are accelerated to such high energies

X-ray light with energies between 10 and 20 kiloelectron volts are blue; X-rays of 8 to 10 kiloelectron volts are green; and X-rays of 4.5 to 5.5 kiloelectron volts are red.

The starry background picture is from the Digitized Sky Survey.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar130107c

Curator: NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, , ,

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Cassiopea A Cas A
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Supernova Remnant

Distance

Universescale1
11,000 light years
Nustar_nustar130107c_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 23h 23m 24.0s
DEC = 58° 48’ 54.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
18.3 x 18.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Cassiopeia

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_red NuSTAR ( ) X-ray ( ) 248.4 pm
Arrow_left_green NuSTAR X-ray 138.0 pm
Arrow_left_blue NuSTAR X-ray 69.0 pm
Arrow_left_orange DSS Optical (R-band) 700.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue DSS Optical (B-band) 440.0 nm
Spectrum_xray1w
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_orange
Arrow_top_blue
Nustar_nustar130107c_1280
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ID
nustar130107c
Subject Category
B.4.1.4  
Subject Name
Cassiopea A, Cas A
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
11,000
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar130107c
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
NuSTAR, NuSTAR, NuSTAR, DSS, DSS
Instrument
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Blue
Band
X-ray, X-ray, X-ray, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
, -, -, R-band, B-band
Central Wavelength
0.2484, 0.138, 0.069, 700, 440
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
350.850000, 58.815000
Reference Dimension
1100, 1100
Reference Pixel
550.5, 550.5
Scale
-2.77778000000000e-04, 2.77778000000000e-04
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
City
State/Province
Postal Code
Country
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
Publisher ID
nustar
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/nustar/nustar130107c
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2014-07-16 17:51:51 -0700
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
11,000 light years