CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. Coloured X-ray image showing calcium ion concentration in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A). Colours represent the intensity of X-ray emission, from green (lowest) through magenta to yellow (highest). Cas A is the remains of a star which exploded as a supernova around 300 years ago. The shape of the calcium ion map suggests that the explosion was asymmetric. Calcium is produced in giant stars (more than 3 solar masses) close to the end of their lives. This image was made with the Chandra X-ray Observatory in Earth orbit.
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