A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Crab Nebula

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.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Mack said...

If you look carefully at that picture, you can see a face in it. You can see the left eye (closed), nose, and mouth (also closed) in the pink clouds in the center.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Mack said...

Sorry. I was looking at the astronomy picture of the day- M78

9:17 AM  

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