Fireworks in the Sky

Glowing gaseous streamers of red, white, and blue - as well as green and pink - illuminate the heavens like Fourth of July fireworks. The colorful streamers that float across the sky in this photo taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope were created by the universe's biggest firecracker, the titanic supernova explosion of a massive star.

The light from the exploding star reached Earth 320 years ago. The dead star's shredded remains are called Cassiopeia A, or 'Cas A' for short. Cas A is the youngest known supernova remnant in our Milky Way Galaxy and resides 10, 000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia, so the star actually blew up 10, 000 years before the light reached Earth in the late 1600s.

Credit:

NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0215a
Type:Observation
Release date:3 July 2002, 06:00
Size:2226 x 1453 px

About the Object

Name:Cassiopeia A, SNR 111.7-02.1
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Supernova Remnant
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:11000 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Ultraviolet
B
450 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
R
675 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
Z
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.8 MB
Screensize JPEG
343.6 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
523.7 KB
1280x1024
843.1 KB
1600x1200
1.2 MB

Also see our