From CosmosUp: “[Info and Images] The Crab Pulsar And Its Nebula” New Take on an Old Subject, Worth Your Time

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The Crab Pulsar was born with supernova explosion which was widely observed on Earth in the year 1054. The Crab Nebula is located 6,500-light-years away from us in the direction of Constellation Taurus. Here, in this article, we will present this amazing object, once thought to be the most energetic light in universe.

A brief history of stars

When a massive star, with a mass several times that of the Sun, reach the end of its live, it compresses and explodes as supernovae, leaving behind a good-looking corpse, a neutron star. Neutron stars are the smallest and densest stars known to exist in the Universe.


They are only a few miles across, with a large fraction of the star’s original mass, composed almost entirely of neutrons — subatomic particles with no net electrical charge. Neutron stars are very hot and spins spectacularly fast on its axis emitting beams of electromagnetic radiation that are detected as pulsars.

The Crab Nebulae

After a massive explosion powerful enough to turn a huge star into cloud of dust, the crab nebula took shape- the eye of the storm, a speeding pulsating star, a pulsar. The gravity squeezed the giant star’s core into an object with 10km diameter, rotating 30 times per second.

Scientists estimate the crab pulsar’s mass to that of 1.5 solar masses. It’s so dense that one pint of this will weigh thousands maybe millions of tons. Two beams of light, energy and radiation, spinning 30 time per second power the huge cloud of dust, the crab nebula.

There’s so much radiations there, more even on the Sun, that’s could easily be considered one of the deadliest things in the universe.

Chandra image of the Crab Nebula

Crab Nebula in Multiple Wavelengths
Based on File:Crab Nebula in multiwavelength.png by Torres997

The Crab Pulsar

In Jan 2016 MAGIC, a ground-based gamma-ray instrument located on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, discovered unexpected very energetic photons, the most energetic pulsed emission radiation ever detected to date coming from the center of the supernova of 1054 A.D., the Crab pulsar.

MAGIC Cherenkov gamma ray telescope
MAGIC Cherenkov gamma ray telescope on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain

“We performed deep observation of the Crab pulsar with MAGIC to understand this phenomenon, expecting to measure the maximum energy of the pulsating photons,”

Roberta Zanin from (ICCUB-IEEC, Barcelona) continues:

The new observations extend this tail to much higher, above TeV energies, that is, several times more energetic than the previous measurement, violating all the theory models believed to be at work in neutron stars.”

Crab pulsar, jleeuwen

This is a mosaic image, one of the largest ever taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the Crab Nebula, a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star’s supernova explosion. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded this violent event nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054, as did, almost certainly, Native Americans.

The orange filaments are the tattered remains of the star and consist mostly of hydrogen. The rapidly spinning neutron star embedded in the center of the nebula is the dynamo powering the nebula’s eerie interior bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The neutron star, like a lighthouse, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star’s rotation. A neutron star is the crushed ultra-dense core of the exploded star.

The Crab Nebula derived its name from its appearance in a drawing made by Irish astronomer Lord Rosse in 1844, using a 36-inch telescope. When viewed by Hubble, as well as by large ground-based telescopes such as the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the Crab Nebula takes on a more detailed appearance that yields clues into the spectacular demise of a star, 6,500 light-years away.
The newly composed image was assembled from 24 individual Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 exposures taken in October 1999, January 2000, and December 2000. The colors in the image indicate the different elements that were expelled during the explosion. Blue in the filaments in the outer part of the nebula represents neutral oxygen, green is singly-ionized sulfur, and red indicates doubly-ionized oxygen.

See the full article here .

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