N132D in Context
N132D is similar in many ways to an older, much larger version
of the Cas A supernova remnant. It has a complex shell-like structure that
is caused by the expansion of a supersonic shock wave into surrounding material.
Both remnants were probably produced by the explosion of a star that was
10 to 20 times more massive than the Sun. The N132D remnant contains about
50 times more material than Cas A, and its X-ray power is about 10 times
greater. The temperature of its hot gas is about 5 times lower, however.
These differences are likely due to the older age of N132D and the fact
that N132D is expanding into a more dense environment than Cas A.
X-ray image of N132D
X-ray image of Cas A
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