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Multi-wavelength view of the Crab Nebula
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Multi-wavelength view of the Crab Nebula

January 8, 2013
This is a composite image of the Crab Nebula, probably the most iconic relic of a star's demise: first spotted as a supernova in 1054 AD, this object appears today as the remnant of that explosion, a vast nebula hosting a rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar, at its core. The optical view of the nebula, obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is shown in red and yellow, the X-ray image obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown in blue, and the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared image is in purple. At infrared and optical wavelengths the intricate structure of the nebula is visible on a larger scale, whereas the X-ray image shows the emission coming from the most highly energetic electrons, which are concentrated much closer to the central pulsar powering the entire nebula's emission. The image is 5 arc minute across. Date: 12 Jan 2011 Satellite: Chandra, Hubble, Spitzer Depicts: M1 Copyright: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F. Seward; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J. Hester & A. Loll; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Minn./R. Gehrz


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