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Crab Nebula: Supernova Remnant and Pulsar

Type of Object:  The Crab Nebula is the result of a supernova explosion. The supernova occurred in the year 1054 AD and was observed by astronomers aorund the world.  The exploding star remained brighter than Venus for 23 days - easily seen during the day! The nebula emits electromagnetic radiation from x-rays to radio. The driving energy source is a pulsar - the neutron star after the explosion. The neutron star rotates about 30 times per second, is a few kilometers in diameter, and has the mass equivalent to the mass of the Sun.

Distance: 6300 light years (= 6 x 1016 km = 3.7 x 1016 miles)
Size: About 10 light years across (= 9.5 x 1013 km = 5.9 x 1013 miles)
Coordinates (Epoch J2000):
         Right Ascension: 
05 34 31.97
         Declination:          +22 00 52.1

Other Names: M1, Taurus A

Radio Brightness at 1420 MHz (21 cm): 930 Jy

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Location on the sky: The Crab Nebula is a winter object.  Look towards the south in January at about 9 pm and find the constellation Taurus.  Taurus can be identified by two large star clusters: The Pleiades and The Hyades. The Hyades form a V shape.  Located at one end of the V is the bright red giant star Aldeberan. Follow the leg of the V through Aldebaran to the Crab Nebula indicated by a star symbol in the figure to the left.

Images shown below, at different wavelengths, cover a
0.5 degree x 0.5 degree area of the sky centered on the nebula.  The images are taken from the SKYVIEW Virtual Observatory maintained under NASA ADP Grant NAS5-32068 with P.I.
Thomas A. McGlynn under the auspices of the High Energy Astrophysics Science  Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at the GSFC Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. SKYVIEW contains catalogs and surveys from x-ray to radio observations. The site is located at http://skyview.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Visible image from the digitized Palomar Sky Survey E plates

Far-Infrared Image at 100 microns taken by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) Survey. Shows mostly dust and very cool gases

Image taken at the radio emission of neutral hydrogen at 1420 MHz by the NRAO VLA Sky Survey

[Orion Nebula] [crab_nebula] [W3] [cas_a] [cygnus_a] [her_a] [vir_a] [galactic_center] [sgp] [ngp]