Best of AOP - Supernova Remnants

Crab Nebula

Like few other celestial objects, the Crab nebula displays the death of a star in all of its beauty. Both colorful and convoluted filaments of gas expand violently away from the origin of the explosion. The cataclysmic end for this star was observed in 1054 AD by any of humanity that cared to look skyward- it could be seen even during the day for months! In the heart of the nebula lies the dense collapsed remnant of the star- a pulsar. Weighing in at the mass of the sun- but only six miles across- this ball of condensed matter spins 30 times a second and releases tremendous amounts of energy. At a distance of 7000 light years this explosion went off safely so that now we can observe this 10 light year cloud of glowing gas (I often describe this as "star guts" to the public.)

Of the two stars in the very center of the nebula, the one on the bottom is the pulsar.

Star map is navigable within this page.

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

HαRGB color production was used to create this image.

The first image of the above is a combined RGB image. The second image used the Hα exposure as a luminance

frame. The third image flipped the red and Hα channels.

Hα = 6 minutes binned 2x2

Red = 6 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 6 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 6 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Yoshikawa Yoshihiko/Blythe Guvenen/NOAO/AURA/NSF