The Crab nebula, NGC 1952, (wide field)
AAO image reference 'Crab nebula'.    « Previous || Next »

Crab nebula
Top left is NE. Image width is about 20 arc min
Image and text © 1990-2002, Malin/Pasachoff/Caltech, Photograph by from Hale 5m plates by David Malin.


The Crab nebula is the expanding remains of a star that was seen to explode by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054AD. It is one of the strongest radio sources in the sky and was first identified with the optical nebula seen here by Australian astronomers in 1947. At the heart of the nebula is a rapidly-spinning neutron star, a pulsar, and it powers the diffuse, strongly polarised bluish 'synchrotron' nebula from which the red emission-line filaments seem to emerge. The photograph was made from plates taken on the Palomar 5m telescope in February, 1956. The plates were taken in several colours for scientific analysis, but are sufficiently well matched in exposure to allow three, taken in red, green and blue light, be re-constructed into a three-colour image using conventional photographic techniques. Other plates in this series were used to reconstruct a false-colour polarisation map of the nebula.

Entry from NGC 2000.0 (R.W. Sinnott, Ed.) © Sky Publishing Corporation, 1988:
NGC 1952  Nb 05 34.5  +22 01 s  Tau  68.4  vB, vL, E 135deg +/- , vglbM, r; = M1
Related images
Crab Nebula.         Crab nebula, wide field view
Crab Polarisation. The polarisation structure of the Crab nebula.

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