NRAO / AUI / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NRAO / AUI / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Crab Nebula. Radio image (3.6cm) taken by the Very Large Array (VLA) telescope of the Crab Nebula (M1). This is a supernova remnant 6300 light years away in the constellation of Taurus. The supernova was recorded in 1054 A.D. by Chinese astronomers. The nebula is formed by gas ejected during the supernova explosion and by interstellar gas which has been swept up and ionised by the shock wave originating from the explosion. Near the centre of the nebula lies a rapidly spinning neutron star, the Crab Pulsar (not visible), which is the core of the exploded star. The colour code runs from red for the brightest regions declining to yellow, green and blue. This picture may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NRAO, AUI or NSF of any company or product.
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