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Recent Podcast
A Quick Look at a Star Survives Close Call with a Black Hole
A Quick Look at a Star Survives Close Call with a Black Hole
Astronomers may have discovered a new kind of survival story: a star that had a brush with a giant black hole and lived to tell the tale through exclamations of X-rays. (2020-04-23)


Smithsonian X 3D Explorer

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Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): One of the most famous objects in the sky – the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant – is now on display like never before, thanks to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and a new project from the Smithsonian Institution. A new 3D viewer developed by the Smithsonian allows users to interact with one-of-a-kind objects like the Wright Brothers airplane and a 1,600-year-old stone Buddha. The only astronomical object in this special collection is Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short.

Back in 2009, scientists combined data from Chandra, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities to construct a unique 3D model of Cas A, which is a 300-year old debris field that was created when as a massive star exploded. This new Smithsonian viewer will allow scientists and the public to tour this 3D model Cas A in exciting new ways by being able to fly around the remnant themselves. Users can also get more information about various parts of the supernova remnant by clicking on hotspots and following links to more in-depth articles. So we invite you to take a 3D ride unlike any you’ll find at the movie theater and explore Cas A in in a brand new one way.

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