Cassiopeia A

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Cassiopeia A Blog Image


Recently, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope captured never-before-seen detail of 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.
  • Cas A 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.

What is supernova explosion?

  • It is the explosion of a star and is the largest explosion that takes place in space.
  • It happens when there is a change in the core, or center, 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 a constellation?

A constellation is a group of stars that appear to form a recognizable pattern or shape in the night sky when viewed from Earth.Some well-known constellations include Orion, Ursa Major.

Source: NASA Telescope Captures Never-Before-Seen Details Of Remnant Of Star That Exploded 340 Years Ago