Sunday, February 25

NASA Learns More About ” Green Monster ” In Cassiopeia A

Using both NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory and the James Webb Telescope, NASA has been doing more research into Cassiopeia A. The research has helped them explain an unusual structure in the debris, from the destroyed star called the “Green Monster”.

The image above is a new composite image, which contains X-rays from the Chandra telescope and infrared data from the James Webb Telescope. Alongside this, the outer parts of the image include infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

This data reveals hot gas, mostly made from supernova debris from the destroyed star. This includes elements like Silicon and Iron. In the outer parts of Cassiopeia A, the expanding blast wave is striking surrounding gas that was ejected before the explosion.

The debris are able to be seen by Chandra because it’s heated to tens of millions of degrees by shock waves. James Webb can see some of this material, which hasn’t been affected by the shock waves. This is called Pristine debris. To learn more about the supernova explosion, the team compared the Webb view of the pristine debris with X-ray maps of the radioactive elements that were created in the supernova.

They used NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) to map radioactive titanium, which is still visible. They also used Chandra to map where radioactive nickel was by measuring the locations of Iron. When they finally collected all the data about the Green Monster, they presented the data at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society.