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Volume 592 Issue 7855, 22 April 2021

Death of a star

The cover shows the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. In the past few years, simulations have suggested that neutrinos might drive the explosion mechanism that leads to core-collapse supernovae such as Cassiopeia A. In this week’s issue, Toshiki Sato and his colleagues provide observational evidence that supports this mechanism. The researchers examined the iron-rich fingers of gas that protrude from Cassiopeia A and observed that they contain stable titanium and chromium. The abundances of these elements relative to iron mean that they must have formed in neutrino-driven plumes that helped to trigger the explosion that created the supernova.

Cover image: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI.

This Week

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