Time, tr, after the explosion at which an ejecta layer characterized by the parameter α encounters the reverse shock. The outer layer has the value α = 1, while the inner one has α = 0. The vertical line indicates the value α = 0.33, corresponding to the ejecta layer which encounters the reverse shock in 2004, and of course intersects the red solid curve at the time corresponding to the age of Cas A in 2004, i.e. tr = 333 yr (indicated by the horizontal line).
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