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F. Berendse (Univ. of MD & NASA GSFC), R. Petre, S.S. Holt (NASA GSFC), U. Hwang (Univ. of MD & NASA GSFC)
We present high spatial resolution spectra of the forward shock of Cassiopeia A from a 50,000 s observation obtained by the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer on board the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We systematically compare the ionization conditions of the shocked plasma in different regions along the forward shock. Single-component non-equilibrium ionization models do not provide good fits to the spectra-- possibly indicating the presence of a synchrotron component. We provide an estimate of the synchrotron flux present in the forward shock and discuss alternative models.