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Thursday, September 23, 2021

‘Kaleidoscope of colour’: Nasa posts breathtaking picture of 300-year-old supernova remnant

From calling it the most beautiful photograph they had ever seen to wishing it was visible in the sky, netizens loved the image.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 3, 2021 10:39:27 am
The different colours in the image provide different details captured by each observatory and gives astronomers a holistic view of Cas A. (Instagram/NASA)

US space agency Nasa has, in an Instagram post, shared the image of a 300-year-old remnant formed by the supernova explosion of a huge star located 11,000 light-years away from the Earth. It also went on to explain how the explosion “Cassiopeia A” was captured in its full glory using three observatories.

A supernova or explosion of a star is the largest explosion that takes place in space, according to the space agency’s website.

As Nasa uploaded the image on Instagram, the comment section was flooded with people appreciating the beauty and amalgamation of hues that the space agency referred to as a “kaleidoscope of color”. The post garnered over 1.3 million likes.

From calling it the most beautiful photograph they had ever seen to wishing it was visible in the sky, netizens simply loved the captivating image.

According to the post, the different colours in the image provide different details captured by each observatory, giving astronomers a holistic view of Cas A.

Blue and Green are X-ray data from NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory and it displays gasses at about 10 million degrees celsius. According to NASA, “This hot gas was likely created when ejected material from the supernova smashed into surrounding gas and dust at speeds of about 10 million miles per hour.”

The red colour is Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope and it shows the warm dust in the “outer shell with temperatures of about 10 degrees celsius”. The yellow is optical data from Nasa’s Hubble Telescope and it shows “a delicate filamentary structure” of warm gases at “about 10,000 degrees celsius”.

The blue and green are X-ray data from Nasa’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and it displays gases at about 10 million degrees celsius. “This hot gas was likely created when ejected material from the supernova smashed into surrounding gas and dust at speeds of about 10 million miles per hour,” according to Nasa.

“A comparison of images should help astronomers better determine whether most of the dust in the supernova remnant came from the massive star before it exploded, or from the rapidly expanding supernova ejecta,” Nasa explained.

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