Monday, February 18, 2008


Crab Nebula by Hubble

The Crab Nebula is a supernova explosion first seen on Earth in 1054 by Chinese and Arab astronomers. Since it's 65,000 light years away, the explosion was actually 65,954 years ago. It has the NGC number 1952 and Messier number 1. Who says there's no beauty in violence?
The complexity of the structure of the filaments also is amazing. Scientist call them Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. The pulsar wind nebula/supernova remnant is 11 light years across. At its center is the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star rotating at a very fast 30.2 times per second.


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