Astronomy Picture of the Day

M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble

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M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble

This is the mess that is left when a star explodes.

The Crab Nebula, the result of a
supernova seen in
1054 AD,
is filled with
mysterious filaments.

The filaments are not only
tremendously complex, but appear to have
less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a
higher speed than expected from a free explosion.

The above image,
taken by the Hubble Space Telescope,
is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest.

The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years.

In the nebula's very center lies a
pulsar: a
neutron star as massive as the
but with only the size of a
small town.

The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.

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