Massive stars end their lives with catastrophic explosions known as supernovae. The outcomes of these explosions are the so-called supernova remnants (SNR). This model describes the structure of one of the best studied SNR in our galaxy, Cassiopeia A at the age of 340 years. The red structures in the model mark the stellar desbris rich of iron, blue structures show those rich of silicon/sulfur. The transparent external blue surface shows the blast wave, the transparent orange surface in the remnant interior the reverse shock. Material between the blast wave and the reverse shock is heated up to temperature of 10-100 millions kelvin. The transparent image passing through the center of the remnant is a composite showing optical (Hubble) and X-ray (Chandra) actual observations of the remnant.
Hydro simulation performed with the FLASH code.
Reference: Orlando et al. 2016, ApJ 822, id.22.
Credits: INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo.