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Crab nebula

Crab nebula

R760/0060

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Crab nebula. Coloured Chandra X-ray telescope image of the Crab nebula (M1) supernova remnant. At the centre of the innermost ring is a pulsar, a spinning neutron star emitting pulses of radiation 30 times a second. The bright rings are composed of high-energy particles spiralling along magnetic field lines around the pulsar. Jets are escaping from the pulsar perpendicular to the plane of the rings. The Crab nebula is the remains of a star which exploded in 1054 AD, an event witnessed by Chinese astronomers. It lies around 6000 light years away in the constellation Taurus.

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