Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra Image of Cassiopeia A

Spitzer_ssc2005-14c1_1024

spitzer_ssc2005-14c1 June 9th, 2005

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/O. Krause (Steward Observatory)

This stunning multi-mission picture shows off the many sides of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. It is made up of images taken by three of NASA's Great Observatories, using three different wavebands of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope are colored red; visible data from the Hubble Space Telescope are yellow; and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are green and blue.

Located 10,000 light-years away in the northern constellation Cassiopeia, Cassiopeia A is the remnant of a once massive star that died in a violent supernova explosion seen on Earth 325 years ago. It consists of a dead star, called a neutron star, and a surrounding shell of material that was blasted off as the star died. This remnant marks the most recent supernova in our Milky Way galaxy, and is one of the most studied objects in the sky.

Each Great Observatory highlights different characteristics of this celestial orb. While Spitzer reveals warm dust in the outer shell about a few hundred degrees Kelvin (80 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature, Hubble sees the delicate filamentary structures of hot gases about 10,000 degrees Kelvin (18,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Chandra probes unimaginably hot gases, up to about 10 million degrees Kelvin (18 million degrees Fahrenheit). These extremely hot gases were created when ejected material from Cassiopeia A smashed into surrounding gas and dust. Chandra can also see Cassiopeia A's neutron star (turquoise dot at center of shell).

Blue Chandra data were acquired using broadband X-rays (low to high energies); green Chandra data correspond to intermediate energy X-rays; yellow Hubble data were taken using a 900 nanometer-wavelength filter, and red Spitzer data are from the telescope's 24-micron detector.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1447-ssc2005-14c1-Hubble-Spitzer-and-Chandra-Image-of-Cassiopeia-A

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Cassiopeia A Cas A
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Supernova Remnant
Nebula > Appearance > Reflection > Light Echo

Distance

Universescale1
11,000 light years
Spitzer_ssc2005-14c1_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 23h 23m 27.8s
DEC = 58° 48’ 57.6”
Orientation
North is 1.0° CW
Field of View
8.7 x 6.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Cassiopeia

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (Hard X-ray) 248.0 pm
Green Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (Soft X-ray) 1.771 nm
Yellow Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (H-alpha) 656.0 nm
Red Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 8.0 µm
Spectrum_xray1
Blue
Green
Yellow
Red
Spitzer_ssc2005-14c1_1280
×
ID
ssc2005-14c1
Subject Category
B.4.1.4.   B.4.2.2.1.  
Subject Name
Cassiopeia A, Cas A
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/O. Krause (Steward Observatory)
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra, Chandra, Hubble, Spitzer
Instrument
ACIS, ACIS, WFPC2, IRAC
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Yellow, Red
Band
X-ray, X-ray, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
Hard X-ray, Soft X-ray, H-alpha, Near-IR
Central Wavelength
0.248, 1.771, 656, 8000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
350.86587135578543, 58.816011703773064
Reference Dimension
1835, 1348
Reference Pixel
917.5, 674
Scale
-7.8981516778756081E-05, 7.8981516778756081E-05
Rotation
-0.979455514799
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Spitzer Space Telescope
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2005-14c1.tif
Metadata Date
2012-10-26
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
11,000 light years