Public Access 3-D Viewer Puts Supernova Remnant Into The Hands Of The People

Tamarra Kemsley | Nature World News | November 16, 2013

NASA and the Smithsonian Institution have teamed up to allow people everywhere to interact with a 3-D version of one of the sky's most famous objects, known as the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant.

The project is part of a large-scale effort to digitize many of the Smithsonian's objects and artifacts, according to NASA officials. Once completed, it will place all the data  collected on "Cas A," along with a variety of other, more terrestrial objects, into the hands of the public in the form of an open-access program.

A 300-year-old remnant of a violent stellar explosion, Cas A has become the poster child for the the new project. The 3-D model of the space object combines information harvested by the agency's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based facilities.