Dec 12, 2023

Webb’s Wonders: A New Holiday Image of Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A

Posted by in category: cosmology

Just in time for the holidays, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently used its Near-Infrared (NIRCam) instrument to capture stunning images of the massive supernova remnant, Cassiopeia A (Cas A), comes after JWST used its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) to capture its own images of Cas A earlier this year. Along with being comprised of different colors, each image provides different details of Cas A, with some features being visible in one image that aren’t visible in the other image. In either case, this most recent NIRCam image continues to offer stunning insights into one of the most well-known supernova remnants that spans 10 light-years in diameter and located approximately 11,000 light-years from Earth.

Recent image of the supernova remnant, Cassiopeia A (Cas A), taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, revealing details like never before. (Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, D. Milisavljevic (Purdue University), T. Temim (Princeton University), I. De Looze (University of Gent))

“With NIRCam’s resolution, we can now see how the dying star absolutely shattered when it exploded, leaving filaments akin to tiny shards of glass behind,” said Dr. Danny Milisavljevic, who is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy ay Purdue University and is the research team lead. “It’s really unbelievable after all these years studying Cas A to now resolve those details, which are providing us with transformational insight into how this star exploded.”

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