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More Images of The Crab Nebula
Chandra X-ray Image of Crab Nebula, Adaptively Smoothed
Adaptively smoothed to bring out the rings and jet features
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

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
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

Chandra X-ray Image with Scale
Scale bar = 1 arcmin
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

Crab Nebula and the Vela supernova remnants
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.)

Return to Crab Nebula (28 Sep 99)