Recent images from NASA reveal the stunning remains of an exploded star. Called supernova remnants, the stellar debris includes elements that are the building blocks of life on Earth.
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Astronomers used the Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope to look at Cassiopeia A, a remnant located in the Cassiopeia constellation. Each element produces a unique x-ray signature, allowing them to be identified and mapped. Cassiopeia A has dispersed masses of sulfur equal to 10,000 Earths, 20,000 Earth masses of silicon, and about 70,000 Earth masses of iron. Many experts think the star exploded around the year 1680 and was once 16 times the mass of our sun.
Read “See How a Massive Supernova Released the Building Blocks of Life.”
Explore the Remains of a Massive Supernova | National Geographic