Galactic CAT Scan Reveals Bubbly Interior of Supernova Cassiopeia A


Cas A

Astronomers have produced a 3D map of the interior of Cassiopeia A, a supernova in our galaxy, using the astronomical equivalent of a CAT scan.

The Cassiopeia A, or Cas A, exploded around 340 years ago and its relatively close proximity to the Earth makes it one of the most well-studied supernovas in our galaxy. Many astronomers still observe the supernova with great interest.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Dartmouth College unravels the bubbly interior of the supernova. The findings may shed more light on the way a supernova dies.

“Our three-dimensional map is a rare look at the insides of an exploded star,” said Dan Milisavljevic of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Astronomers explain that when a star explodes, it spews out extremely radioactive and hot matter outward from the core of the star. It is complex to model such process even with some of the most powerful computers on Earth.

However, by cautiously studying the remnants of fairly young supernovae such as Cas A, astronomers can examine several key processes that drive such stellar explosions.

The scientists suggest that the latest research involved examining the debris to understand what blew and how it blew. They claim that this latest study is a step forward in understanding how stars explode.

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