Cassiopeia A, observed August 19, 1999
Cassiopeia A is the 320-year old remnant of a massive star that
exploded. Located on the constellation Cassiopeia, it is 10,000 light
years from Earth. The X-ray image shows an expanding shell of hot gas
produced by the explosion. The gaseous shell is about 10 light years in
diameter, and has a temperature of about 50 million degrees.
from the Chandra
One light year is the distance light travels in a
year: 10 trillion kilometers.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory was launched by NASA July 23, 1999.
It is named for Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995),
Nobel Laureate in Physics.
Chandra means moon or luminous in Sanskrit.
N132D, observed September 1, 1999
N132D is the remnant of an exploded star in the large Magellanic
Cloud. The Chandra images show a highly-structured remnant, or shell, of
10-million degree gas that is 80 light years across. The remnant is
thought to be about 3,000 years old. The Large Magellanic Cloud, a
companion galaxy to the Milky Way, is 180,000 light years from Earth. In
this image, which is like a photographic negative, the X-ray
emission is brightest where the image is darkest. This representation
shows up some of the best details.
-from the Chandra