So this is Cassiopeia A or (Cas A) and its cool because not only is this guy in our own galaxy but its only 340 years old (very young. the youngest in our galaxy actually[which happens to be very big lol]). It's located 10,000 lightyears from Earth in the constellation .. you guessed it.. Cassiopeia.
Anyway the reason for bloggin this is because I found some cool videos. This by the way is a pretty new pic from hubble. Just a few days old I think. Click here to get the wallpaper version. <-- It rules!
So the videos are all here. I like the one that shows an artist's idea of the actual explosion.
And now for some interesting facts:
- A supernova such as the one that resulted in Cas A is the explosive demise of a massive star that collapses under the weight of its own gravity. <-- cool
- It then blows its outer layers into space in an explosion that can briefly outshine its the entire galaxy! <--very cool
- Supernova explosions are the main source of elements that are more complex than oxygen. <-- ok this is cool but let me tell you why.. that means that if you look here at the periodic table of elements.. you see that oxygen is near the top and not very complex. So that means that all the elements below that had to have been forged in the extreme conditions produced by a supernova! <do you see how cool it is yet?> Ok so most of these elements are found in the earth right? So what does that mean? It means that our "earth matter" (as I will call it) has been though at least a few "solar cycles". Or that the Earth is made up of stuff thats been blown up by more than one supernova! <--now thats pretty dang cool!
- As well as visible light (i.e. optical radiation), supernovae emit huge amounts of various types of radiation: X-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, gamma rays, neutrinos, cosmic rays and radio waves. <-- also very cool. This is a before and after shot of the recorded "Supernova 1987A" near the Tarantula Nebula.
Well I could probably go on forever but I guess I'll stop here.