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Optical Image of
Cassiopeia A
(Credit: NASA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScl/AURA))

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Cassiopeia A:
Chandra's Celestial Fireworks


Cassiopeia A
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO

In August of 1999, NASA released an image of Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant revealed in never-before-seen X-ray detail. The "Cas A" image, as it has come to be known, shows remarkable structure in the debris of a gigantic stellar explosion, as well as an enigmatic source in the center, which could be a rapidly spinning neutron star or black hole. The Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Cas A ushered in a new era of X-ray astronomy. This image was produced from the archives to celebrate the anniversary of Chandra’s first light. The low, medium, and higher X-ray energies of the Chandra data are shown as red, green, and blue respectively.

Fast Facts for Cassiopeia A:
Credit  NASA/CXC/SAO
Scale  Image is 6.9 x 8.2 arcmin
Category  Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 23h 23m 26.7s | Dec +58° 49' 03.00"
Constellation  Cassiopeia
Observation Dates  January 30, 2000
Observation Time  14 hours
Obs. IDs  114
Color Code  Energy: Red .3-1.55 keV, Green 1.55-3.34 keV, Blue 3.34-10 keV
Instrument  ACIS
Also Known As Cas A
Distance Estimate  About 11,000 light years
Release Date  August 19, 2002