More Images of The Crab Nebula
Chandra X-ray Image of Crab Nebula,
Adaptively smoothed to bring out the rings and jet
A new color image of the Crab Nebula
taken with the University of Hawaii 88-inch telescope
on Mauna Kea.
This is a slightly cropped mosaic of CCD frames taken
through B (blue), V (green), and R (red) filters. The
image was color balanced so that the Sun would appear
white. The resolution is approximately 0.8 arcsec FWHM.
The red filaments are hydrogen gas shining by
recombination radiation. The smooth light distribution
is synchrotron radiation emitted by electrons moving in
the magnetic field of the nebula. The nebula is
substantially reddened by interstellar absorption (the
V-band absorption is about 1.5 magnitudes). The
neutron-star pulsar whose explosion as a supernova in
1054 AD created the nebula is the lower-right of the
two fairly bright stars nearest the center.
Left of the nebula and slightly above center, the
short blue streak is the asteroid 1880 McCrosky. It
happened to be moving through the field when the blue
image was taken, but had passed when the green and red
images were taken.
(Credit: J.Kormendy, R.Wainscoat,
Univ. of Hawaii)
X-ray Image of Crab Nebula
Black and white version of the X-ray image taken of
the Crab Nebula by the Chandra X-ray Observatory
Chandra X-ray Image with
Scale bar = 1 arcmin
Return to Crab Nebula (28 Sep 99)
Crab Nebula and the Vela supernova
These images show the region of space around two
rapidly rotating neutron stars in the Crab Nebula
(left) and the Vela (right) supernova remnants. A
magnetized, rapidly rotating neutron star produces
electric voltages of several quadrillion volts.
Particles are pulled off the neutron star and
accelerated to speeds near the speed of light. A
blizzard of electrons and anti-matter electrons, or
positrons, is produced by these particles. The jets,
and rings are thought to be caused by this process. The
images have been scaled so that the ring structures
will be in the right proportion to their actual size.
The inner Crab ring is 1 light year in diameter; in
Vela it is 0.1 light year)
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO; Right:
NASA/PSU/G. Pavlov et al.)