Hubble Space Telescope
The Crab Nebula
The Crab nebula is a six-light-year-wide remnant of a star gone supernova . Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded it 1,000 years ago in 1054.
The orange filaments are remains of the star and are mostly hydrogen. Blue in the outer part is neutral oxygen, green is singly-ionized sulfur, and red is doubly-ionized oxygen. The spinning neutron star embedded in the center is the dynamo powering the nebula's eerie bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The neutron star, like a lighthouse, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star's rotation. A neutron star is the crushed core of the exploded star.
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Credit:NASA, ESA, Jeff Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University)
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