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The Elements of Supernova Cas A

April 2, 2012

This Chandra X-ray video shows the elements distribution in supernova remnant Cas A. The distributions of sulfur, silicon, magnesium and neon are similar. Oxygen, which according to theoretical models is the most abundant element in the remnant, is difficult to detect because the X-ray emission characteristic of oxygen ions is strongly absorbed by gas in along the line of sight to Cas A, and because almost all the oxygen ions have had all their electrons stripped away.  credit:  NASA



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