M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble
October 25, 2009
This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The above image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula's very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.
Topics: Taurus constellation, Star types, Space plasmas, Neutron star, Supernova, Pulsar, Crab Nebula, Crab Pulsar, Supernova remnants, Nebula, Star, Messier objects