Crab Composite

Composite Crab.

The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from the death explosion of a massive star. This intriguing false-color image combines data from space-based observatories, Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer, to explore the debris cloud in x-rays (blue-purple), optical (green), and infrared (red) light. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is the bright spot near picture center. Like a cosmic dynamo, this collapsed remnant of the stellar core powers the Crab's emission across the electromagnetic spectrum. Spanning about 12 light-years, the Crab Nebula is 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus.

Image: NASA. [X-ray: CXC, J.Hester (ASU) et al.; Optical: ESA, J.Hester and A.Loll (ASU); Infrared: JPL-Caltech, R.Gehrz (U. Minn) ]

If you have a high-resolution digitized nature image that you'd like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to email it to me, along with information about the image and how you'd like it to be credited.

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Wow, that's gorgeous. Why why is it tagged as an insect? ;-)

By David Harmon (not verified) on 16 Nov 2006 #permalink