M1, NGC 1952, Crab Nebula

Noirlab_noao-02673_1024

noirlab_noao-02673 June 30th, 2020

Credit: Bill Schoening/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

The famous Crab Nebula, Messier object 1 and NGC1952. This image of the well-known Crab Nebula was taken using Ektachrome film at the prime focus of the Kitt Peak 4-meter telescope on October 1st 1973. This is unusual because most astronomical pictures are coloured by combining three different exposures taken through red, green and blue filters. In this relatively short exposure, the pulsar is clearly visible (slightly below and to the right of the central star, which is actually a projected foreground object). North is up with east to the left. About this object The Crab Nebula was originally given this name due to its resemblance to a crab's claw (not the full-body image of a crab), in an early sketch made in 1855 by Lord Rosse's staff astronomer R.J. Mitchell. With higher resolution pictures, this appearance became far less compelling, but the name has stuck. It is the remnant of a supernova explosion in the year 1054 A.D., which was recorded in five separate accounts from Chinese astronomers in the Far East. It is perhaps odd that no western observation has survived, since it was certainly one of the most spectacular historical supernovae. The red tendrils are excited gas, emitting strong H-alpha radiation. The nebula was probably first noticed in 1731 by John Bevis, and it was significant enough to be the first entry in Charles Messier's list of nebulae (compiled to avoid mistaking them for comets). The nebula continues to expand and change the details of its appearance, and this is partly due to the violence of the original explosion. However, the star which exploded left behind a rotating neutron star, which continues to beam energy out into the nebula, as well as flashing with a period of only 33 milliseconds. The details of this energy input are important for our understanding both of neutron stars and of the physical conditions in the nebula, and are revealed in the patterns of filaments, their brightness and colors, and the way they change with time. Despite the name, it is actually in the constellation Taurus. Photograph by Bill Schoening.

Provider: NOIRLab

Image Source: https://noirlab.edu/public/images/noao-02673/

Curator: NSF's NOIRLab, Tucson, AZ, USA

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Crab Nebula M1 NGC 1952
Noirlab_noao-02673_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 34m 21.6s
DEC = 21° 58’ 7.2”
Orientation
North is 1.2° CCW
Field of View
7.4 x 11.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Taurus
Noirlab_noao-02673_1280
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ID
noao-02673
Subject Category
Subject Name
Crab Nebula, M1, NGC 1952
Credits
Bill Schoening/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA
Release Date
2020-06-30T21:34:05
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://noirlab.edu/public/images/noao-02673/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
83.59018917, 21.96866029
Reference Dimension
2259.0, 3338.0
Reference Pixel
1895.813904, 819.2348633
Scale
-5.44e-05, 5.47e-05
Rotation
1.154240967
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NSF's NOIRLab
URL
https://noirlab.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
950 North Cherry Ave.
City
Tucson
State/Province
AZ
Postal Code
85719
Country
USA
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
NSF's NOIRLab
Publisher ID
noirlab
Resource ID
noao-02673
Metadata Date
2022-09-12T14:57:55.701701
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.