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Chandra Zoom: Cassiopeia A

Zoom into the image of Cassiopeia A and see all it's details up close and personal. Use the slider bar to zoom in close or zoom out and see the bigger picture.

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Cassiopeia A
New evidence from Chandra suggests that the neutron star at the center of the Cas A supernova remnant has an ultra-thin carbon atmosphere. This uniform carbon atmosphere would explain the lack of X-ray pulsations from this object because the neutron star would be unlikely to display any changes as it rotates. The absence of pulsations has been a mystery since the neutron star was discovered in Chandra’s “First Light” image over a decade ago. The carbon atmosphere is thought to be only about four inches thick, with a density similar to diamond and a pressure more than ten times that found at the center of the Earth.

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