Cassiopeia A

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Overview:

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured a stunning new image of a star that exploded in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A).

About Cassiopeia A

  • It is a remnant of a massive star that exploded some 340 years ago. 
  • It is the youngest remnant off the massive star in our galaxy known to mankind.
  • It belongs to the prototypical type of supernova remnant and has been extensively studied by a number of ground-based and space-based observatories,
  • The remnant spans about 10 light-years and is located 11,000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia.
  • It gives information related to the supernovae phenomenon and its complexities.

Key points about supernova explosion

  • It is the explosion of a massive star.
  • It happens when there is a change in the core of the star. A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
  • The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems:
    • Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star.
    • Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
  • The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime:
    • As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force.
    • The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova. 

Q1) What is the meaning of constellations?

Constellation, in astronomy, any of certain groupings of stars that were imagined—at least by those who named them—to form conspicuous configurations of objects or creatures in the sky. Constellations are useful in assisting astronomers and navigators to locate certain stars.

Source: Webb captures star explosion in deep space. Pictures show violent aftermath