Baby Cas A
Researchers were also absolutely stunned by one fascinating feature at the bottom right corner of NIRCam’s field of view. They’re calling that large, striated blob Baby Cas A – because it appears like an offspring of the main supernova.
This is a light echo, where light from the star’s long-ago explosion has reached and is warming distant dust, which is glowing as it cools down. The intricacy of the dust pattern, and Baby Cas A’s apparent proximity to Cas A itself, are particularly intriguing to researchers. In actuality, Baby Cas A is located about 170 light-years behind the supernova remnant.
There are also several other, smaller light echoes scattered throughout Webb’s new portrait.
The Cas A supernova remnant is located 11,000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. It’s estimated to have exploded about 340 years ago from our point of view.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.