In 2007 NASA%u2019s Spitzer space telescope found the infrared signature of silica (sand) in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. The light from this exploding star first reached Earth in the 1600s. The cyan dot just off center is all that remains of the star that exploded.
Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world's ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
The Heart Nebula