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M1 Crab Nebula

M1 Chandra Crab Nebula
M1 Chandra Crab Nebula
Item# C0052
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Product Description

How does a city-sized neutron star power the vast Crab Nebula?

The expulsion of wisps of hot gas at high speeds appears to be at least part of the answer.

Yesterday time-lapse movies taken from both the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope were released showing a wisp of gas moving out at about half the speed of light. Wisps like this likely result from tremendous electric voltages created by the central pulsar, a rapidly rotating, magnetized, central neutron star. The hot plasma strikes existing gas, causing it glow in colors across the electromagnetic spectrum. Pictured above is a composite image of the center of the Crab Nebula where red represents radio emission, green represents visible emission, and blue represents X-ray emission.

The dot at the very center is the hot pulsar spinning 30 times per second.

Text: APOD Credit: J. Hester (ASU), CXC, HST, NRAO, NSF, NASA