NASA's Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) finally delivered its first image on Valentine's Day 2022. In the image was Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant about 11,000 light years away from Earth. While other telescopes have already studied Cassiopeia A before, like the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, scientists believe that the IXPE will bring something new to the table, comparing its first image to Chandra's (which also has Cassiopeia A as its first image). The IXPE will allow scientists to identify where the light originates via polarization. With the polarization data, scientists will be able to create the very first X-ray polarization map of the supernova remnant. From this map, they might be able to identify how X-rays are produced from the object.
(Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/IXPE)
#Astronomy #Supernova #SupernovaRemnant #NASA #ImagingXrayPolarimetryExplorer
(Image Credit: NASA)