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Chandra Discovers Relativistic Pinball Machine
Chandra image shows Casseiopeia A.

This extraordinarily deep Chandra image shows Casseiopeia A (Cas A, for short), the youngest supernova remnant in the Milky Way. New analysis shows that this supernova remnant acts like a relativistic pinball machine by accelerating electrons to enormous energies. The blue, wispy arcs in the image show where the acceleration is taking place in an expanding shock wave generated by the explosion. The red and green regions show material from the destroyed star that has been heated to millions of degrees by the explosion.

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Image credit: NASA/CXC/UMass Amherst/M.D.Stage et al.