Crab Nebula (Messier 1, NGC 1952)

The Crab Nebula, remnant of the 1054 supernova in Taurus, is shown in a three-color reconstruction from BVR CCD images taken in January 2017 with the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telecope (JKT) on La Palma, now operated by the SARA consortium.

Here is an older BVR image from 1993, with the 1.1m Hall telescope at Lowell Observatory. The field of view is 4.7 arcminutes; north is at the top. The red image is dominated by H-alpha and [N II] emission, while the B and V filters include substantial mixtures of continuum and line emission. The pulsar is visible as the southwestern (lower right) of the two stars just southeast of the brightest nebulosity.

See also the spectacular HST images detailing the time evolution of plasma waves moving outward from the central pulsar at a good fraction of the speed of light. The Chandra X-ray observatory has shown intriguing rings and jets at high energies.

For comparison, below is a three-filter BVR composite image obtained with the University of Alabama 0.4-meter telescope. The total exposure time was 2.2 hours in December 2005.

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Last changes: 9/2018      © 2006