Radioactive metal has been found to created holes in the middle of Cassiopeia A, a supernova that has exploded 340 years ago. It is not very far away from us, even though the number of zeros is quite impressive: Cas A is located 11,000 light years from Earth. Even if it has been roughly studied by NASA and other groups of scientists, the magnificently colored beauty is still full of mysteries. It has been stated that its latest ID photo, Cas A looked like “Swiss cheese”, aspect that is created by a half dozen massive cavities that look like bubbles.
A CAT scan has created a 3D map of the interior of the supernova, conducted by a team at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). The purpose of their research is to discover how these grandiose explosions happen.
Dan Milisavljevic, who is co-author at the CfA along with along with Rob Fesen, Professor at Dartmouth College, said in a statement that
“Our three-dimensional map is a rare look at the insides of an exploded star. We’re sort of like bomb squad investigators. We examine the debris to learn what blew up and how it blew up. Our study represents a major step forward in our understanding of how stars actually explode.”
At the time Cassiopeia A has exploded three hundred years ago, radioactive matter got thrown away from its core, getting tangled up in outer space matter. Even though computerized simulations that show exactly how a supernova explosion works, scientists still haven’t figured out all mechanisms that happen beneath everything that can be seen. Nonetheless, focusing of the fragments left behind from the spectacular final event of Cas A, the team at the CfA succeeded in drawing some new conclusions.
The Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona was used in order to create their 3D map, using spectroscopy. This particular idea has leaded them to seeing the interior of Cas A, and to measuring expansion velocities of high faint material that is found inside it. The depth of the observation brought out the information about the inner cavities of the supernova, which are about 3 to 6 years light in diameter.
Image Source: American Live Wire