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For the first time, a multiwavelength three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of a supernova remnant has been created. This stunning visualization of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), the result of an explosion approximately 330 years ago, uses X-ray data from Chandra, infrared data from Spitzer and pre-existing optical data from NOAO's 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak and the Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT 2.4-meter telescope. In this visualization, the green region is mostly iron observed in X-rays. The yellow region is a combination of argon and silicon seen in X-rays, optical, and infrared - including jets of silicon - plus outer debris seen in the optical. The red region is cold debris seen in the infrared. Finally, the blue reveals the outer blast wave, most prominently detected in X-rays.
Fast Facts for Cassiopeia A:
Credit Visualization: NASA/CXC/D.Berry; Model: NASA/CXC/MIT/T.Delaney et al.
Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
Coordinates (J2000) RA 23h 23m 26.7s | Dec +58° 49' 03.00"
Observation Dates 01/30/2000 - 12/08/2007 with 5 pointings
Observation Time 56 hours
Obs. IDs 114, 1952, 5196, 9117, 9773
Color Code Energy (Red (0.5-1.5 keV); Green (1.5-3.0 keV); Blue (4.0-6.0 keV))
Also Known As Cas A
Distance Estimate About 10,000 light years
Release Date January 6, 2009