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An Optical Silhouette of the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant – Sky & Telescope

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Hal Heaton



Location of picture

Burke-Gaffney Observatory, St. Mary’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Date/Time of picture

A number of nights between July 26th and November fifth, 2019: the moon was up and illuminated to varied percentages solely through the narrowband exposures.


Telescope: Planewave CDK24, Zero.61 meter aperture, f/6.5; Digicam: SBIG STXL-11002 CCD, 2 x 2 binning; Filters: Baader (R,G,B,Ha,SII,OIII); Publicity Time(s): 1-min unguided frames, stacked to cumulative exposures of two.9, 2.2, three.6, 2.2, 2.four and three.Zero-hrs, respectively, within the R, G, B, Ha, SII and OIII channels. The two.2-hr H-alpha integration confirmed nothing however stars, and was not used.


The Cassiopeia A supernova remnant is the strongest identified extra-solar supply of radio waves at frequencies above 1 GHz, and it’s full of brightly glowing X-ray emitting filaments. Much less well-known, additionally it is silhouetted by optical emission. This emission is especially sturdy within the strains of ionized sulfur and oxygen. Hydrogen emission is notably absent. The progenitor of this Sort IIb supernova was more than likely a 15-25 photo voltaic mass member of a binary system that exploded asymmetrically, expelling the system’s frequent hydrogen envelope to reveal the star’s He core. That core has advanced right into a highly-magnetized, slowly-rotating neutron star that’s an anomalous X-ray pulsar and smooth gamma ray repeater. The remnant, which first appeared in about 1680, is located roughly 2.1 levels south of the Galactic aircraft at a distance of roughly 11,000 lys. An preliminary 2×2-binned RGB picture primarily based on the broadband channel means was utilized by CCDStack to provide an artificial luminance and new color-balanced broadband frames. The SII and OIII means have been blended into these frames in Photoshop CC 2019 to provide a brand new RGB picture with elevated element, which was LAB-color adjusted and sharpened utilizing a two-stage high-pass filter after reshaping the stellar profiles to take away distortion attributable to the shortage of guiding. The completed picture spans 13’.four x 14’.three, equivalent to 42.9 x 45.eight lys; east is to the precise and north is down.

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