U.S. NAVAL OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. U.S. NAVAL OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Optical photograph of the Crab Nebula (M1, NGC 1952), taken through a blue filter. The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant about 6000 light years away in the constellation of Taurus. The nebula 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 pulsar has a radius of only 10 kilometres and rotates 30 times each second.
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