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False-colour radio map of the Crab Nebula

False-colour radio map of the Crab Nebula

R760/0011

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Credit

MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUTE FOR RADIO ASTRONOMY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUTE FOR RADIO ASTRONOMY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour radio map of the Crab Nebula (M1, NGC 1952), taken at a wavelength of 9 millimetres using the 100-metre Effelsberg radio telescope. The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant about 6000 light years away in the constellation of Taurus. It is the remnant of a catastrophic stellar explosion which was observed by Chinese and Japanese astronomers in 1054 AD. At its centre is the Crab pulsar, a rapidly spinning neutron star which is the tiny, dense remnant of the star which exploded. The map shows radio emission from electrons spiralling in the pulsar's strong magnetic fields.

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