From Earth to the Universe: Picture of the day


THE CRAB NEBULA

Located in the constellation Taurus (the bull), the Crab Nebula is the remains of a supernova first seen in 1054 A.D. as a "guest star" by Chinese astronomers. This image of the radio emission shows the glowing debris that was created when the star exploded at the end of its life. The tremendous detonation also left behind a dense core (not visible in this image). Radiation from this core energises the nebula, causing it to emit the radio waves seen here. The nebula is roughly 10 light-years in diameter and is expanding at about 1000 kilometres per second.

Credit: Radio image by M. Bietenholz (Hartebeesthoek Radio Obs. and York University) for NRAO VLA.

In 2009, the "From Earth to the Universe" project brought astronomy to millions of people around the world. Take a tour of just some of the locations in a short video on the FETTU Highlights page.