Latest Cassiopeia A Stories

2010-03-31 10:30:00

Since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the sky 400 years ago, a myriad of technological advances have allowed astronomers to look at very faint objects, very distant objects, and even light that's invisible to the human eye. Yet, one aspect usually remains out of reach - the benefit of a 3-D perspective. Our telescopes show the Milky Way galaxy only as it appears from one vantage point: our solar system. Now, using a simple but powerful technique, a group of astronomers led by Armin Rest...

2009-08-19 14:28:40

About ten years ago Space Shuttle Columbia launched hauling 55,000 pounds worth of astronomers' dreams -- the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This was the heaviest payload a space shuttle ever lifted "“ and one of the best day's labor the work-horse space shuttle ever put in. August 19, 2009, marks Chandra's 10 year "first light" anniversary.** Last week some Chandra team members celebrated the observatory's past decade of dramatic discoveries. Project scientist Martin Weisskopf has devoted...

2009-02-24 09:55:00

A team of astronomers, led by Loretta Dunne from the University of Nottingham, have found some very unusual stardust. In a paper to be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr Dunne and her team find new evidence for the production of copious quantities of dust in the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant, the remains of a star that exploded about 300 years ago. Interstellar dust is found throughout the cosmos. It is responsible for the dark patches seen in the Milky Way on...

2009-01-06 08:55:00

Two new efforts have taken a famous supernova remnant from the static to the dynamic. A new movie of data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows changes in time never seen before in this type of object. A separate team will also release a dramatic three-dimensional visualization of the same remnant. Nearly ten years ago, Chandra's "First Light" image of Cassiopeia A (Cas A) revealed previously unseen structures and detail. Now, after eight years of observation, scientists have been able...

2008-10-02 00:25:00

Hot spots near the shattered remains of an exploded star are echoing the blast's first moments, say scientists using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Eli Dwek of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and Richard Arendt of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, say these echoes are powered by radiation from Cassiopeia A supernova shock wave that blew the star apart some 11,000 years ago. "We're seeing the supernova's first flash," Dwek said. Previously, other...

2008-05-29 14:35:00

Astronomers have unearthed secrets from the grave of a star that blasted apart in a supernova explosion long ago. By decoding ghostly echoes of light traveling away from the remains of a supernova called Cassiopeia A, the scientists have pieced together what the star looked like in life, and ultimately how it met its demise. The discovery, made using primarily NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Japan's Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, represents the first time astronomers have been...

2008-05-14 08:55:00

The most recent supernova in our Galaxy has been discovered by tracking the rapid expansion of its remains. This result, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and NRAO's Very Large Array (VLA), has implications for understanding how often supernovas explode in the Milky Way galaxy. The supernova explosion occurred about 140 years ago, making it the most recent supernova in the Milky Way as measured in Earth's time frame. Previously, the last known galactic supernova occurred around 1680,...

2007-12-20 16:15:00

Astronomers have at last found definitive evidence that the universe's first dust "“ the celestial stuff that seeded future generations of stars and planets "“ was forged in the explosions of massive stars. The findings, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are the most significant clue yet in the longstanding mystery of where the dust in our very young universe came from. Scientists had suspected that exploding stars, or supernovae, were the primary source, but nobody had...

2006-10-26 16:50:00

Astronomers using NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered that an exploded star, named Cassiopeia A, blew up in a somewhat orderly fashion, retaining much of its original onion-like layering. "Spitzer has essentially found key missing pieces of the Cassiopeia A puzzle," said Jessica Ennis of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, lead author of a paper to appear in the Nov. 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal. "We've found new bits of the 'onion' layers that had not...

2006-08-29 12:26:35

A new image taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope provides a detailed look at the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A (Cas A). It is the youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way. The new Hubble image shows the complex and intricate structure of the star's shattered fragments. The image is a composite made from 18 separate images taken in December 2004 using Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and it shows the Cas A remnant as a...

Word of the Day
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.