Research report 2006 - Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Light Echoes Allow an Insight into the Active Past of Cassiopeia A

Krause, Oliver; Birkmann, Stephan; Quanz, Sascha

Stern- und Planetenentstehung (Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning)
MPI für Astronomie, Heidelberg

Cassiopeia A is the youngest known supernova remnant in our Galaxy. Although unrecorded at the time, it must have exploded around 1680. The nebula, lying at a distance of about 11000 light years, is one of the best-studied celestial objects. Astronomers succeeded in detecting light echoes in the infrared range around the supernova remnant. These originate from interstellar dust that was heated by the flash of the supernova explosion and by flares of the central neutron star.

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