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Crab Nebula (M 1 - NGC 1952) and Zeta Tau

In the year 1054 a star in the constellation of Taurus exploded in a spectacular supernova so bright it appeared to dominate the sky except for the Sun and Moon for many days. It left behind one of the most brilliant nebulae, listed first in Charles Messier's list of nebulous sky objects. Today we know that the center of the nebula houses the remnant of the explosion: a spinning neutron star called a pulsar. The Crab pulsar is visible in almost every part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and has been a useful astronomical tool. It is still unclear how the the pulsar emits the light that we see. (Text adapted from Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Full-res file is about 97 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 2,7 x 2,7 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.


This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1990 and 1996 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized. Credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.


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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.