Crab Nebula: Astronomers Capture Best Ever View Of ‘Supernova Remnant’

NASA has stitched together images from five space telescopes to produce the most detailed ever image of the Crab Nebula.

The composite view of the supernova remnant captures wavelengths spanning nearly the entire range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Astronomers said that comparing different wavelength images would reveal new findings about the nebula, which formed from a supernova that shone bright in Earth’s night’s sky in 1054. 

At the centre of the image lies a super-dense neutron star, which shoots beams of radiowaves and light across the cosmos from its position 6,500 light years from Earth.

The nebula’s unusual shape is owed to the interplay of the star, the wind of particles it emits and the material ejected by the supernova.

Astronomers led by Gloria Duber of the Institute of Astronomy and Physics created the view by piecing together images from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (radio), the Chandra X-ray Observatory (x-ray), the Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared), Hubble (visible) and XMM Neutron (UV).

Dubner said: “Comparing these new images, made at different wavelengths, is providing us with a wealth of new detail about the Crab Nebula. Though the Crab has been studied extensively for years, we still have much to learn about it.”

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