Chandra Peers inside a Supernova Remnant.

By Keith Cowing
December 30, 1999
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[23 Dec 1999] According to a NASA press release: “A team of astronomers led by Dr. John Hughes of Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., has used observations from NASA’s orbital Chandra X-ray Observatory to make an important new discovery that sheds light on how silicon, iron, and other elements were produced in supernova explosions. An X-ray image of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), the remnant of an exploded star, reveals gaseous clumps of silicon, sulfur, and iron expelled from deep in the interior of the star.”

“In addition to understanding how iron and the other elements are produced in stars, we also want to learn how it gets out of stars and into the interstellar medium. This is why the study of supernovae and supernova remnants is so important,” said Hughes. “Once released from stars, newly-created elements
can then participate in the formation of new stars and planets in a great cycle that has gone on numerous times already. It is remarkable to realize that our planet Earth and indeed even humanity itself is part of this vast cosmic cycle.”

° Chandra Website, Harvard University

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