Choose your language:

The Crab Nebula in Taurus

This photo shows a three colour composite of the well-known Crab Nebula (also known as Messier 1), as observed with the FORS2 instrument in imaging mode in the morning of November 10, 1999. It is the remnant of a supernova explosion at a distance of about 6,000 light-years, observed almost 1,000 years ago, in the year 1054. It contains a neutron star near its center that spins 30 times per second around its axis (see below).

In this picture, the green light is predominantly produced by hydrogen emission from material ejected by the star that exploded. The blue light is predominantly emitted by very high-energy ("relativistic") electrons that spiral in a large-scale magnetic field (so-called synchrotron emission). It is believed that these electrons are continuously accelerated and ejected by the rapidly spinning neutron star at the centre of the nebula and which is the remnant core of the exploded star. This pulsar has been identified with the lower/right of the two close stars near the geometric center of the nebula, immediately left of the small arc-like feature, best seen in ESO Press Photo eso9948. Technical information: ESO Press Photo eso9948 is based on a composite of three images taken through three different optical filters: B (429 nm; FWHM 88 nm; 5 min; here rendered as blue), R (657 nm; FWHM 150 nm; 1 min; green) and S II (673 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 5 min; red) during periods of 0.65 arcsec (R, S II) and 0.80 (B) seeing, respectively. The field shown measures 6.8 x 6.8 arcminutes and the images were recorded in frames of 2048 x 2048 pixels, each measuring 0.2 arcseconds. North is up; East is left.

 

#L

Credit:

ESO

Bookmark and Share

About the Image

Id:eso9948f
Language:en-us
Type:Observation
Release date:17 November 1999
Related releases:eso9948
Size:4961 x 4990 px

About the Object

Name:Crab Nebula, M 1, Messier 1, NGC 1952, Taurus A
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star : Pulsar
• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Supernova Remnant
• X - Nebulae
Distance:6000 light years
Constellation:Taurus

Mounted Image

Image Formats

Large JPEG
5.0 MB
Screensize JPEG
309.8 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
360.3 KB
1280x1024
518.4 KB
1600x1200
705.8 KB
1920x1200
926.2 KB
2048x1536
1.2 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):5 34 31.96
Position (Dec):22° 0' 51.38"
Field of view:6.82 x 6.86 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° right of vertical
View in WorldWide Telescope:
View in WorldWide Telescope

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Optical
R
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Optical
SII
Very Large Telescope
FORS2

Also see our