James Webb Space Telescope Cassiopeia A NIRCam
Hubble may have provided a detailed look at exploded star Cassiopeia A, but the James Webb Space Telescope takes things to a whole new level. Thanks to its NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera), astronomers are able to study the supernova remnant at a resolution previously unachievable at these wavelengths.


James Webb Space Telescope Cassiopeia A NIRCam
What stands out immediately are the bright orange and light pink clumps that make up the inner shell of the supernova remnant. NIRCam is capable of detecting the tiniest knots of gas, which are comprised of sulfur, oxygen, argon, and neon from the star itself. Within this gas is a mixture of dust and molecules that will eventually become components of new stars as well as planetary systems.

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James Webb Space Telescope Cassiopeia A NIRCam

With NIRCam’s resolution, we can now see how the dying star absolutely shattered when it exploded, leaving filaments akin to tiny shards of glass behind. It’s really unbelievable after all these years studying Cas A to now resolve those details, which are providing us with transformational insight into how this star exploded,” said Danny Milisavljevic of Purdue University.

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