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Crab Nebula
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Crab Nebula

December 18, 2013
One of the most iconic supernova remnants is the Crab Nebula. A wispy and filamentary cloud of gas and dust, it originated with a supernova explosion that was seen by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054. A spinning neutron star – or pulsar – remains at its center, releasing streams of highly energetic particles into the nebula.

This composite image combines a new infrared view of the Crab Nebula, obtained with ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, with an optical image from the archives of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Herschel’s observations are shown in red and reveal the glow from cosmic dust present in the nebula. Hubble’s view, in blue, traces oxygen and sulphur gas in the nebula.

Credits: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)

[ Read the Article: First-Ever Noble Gas Molecules Discovered In Space]