APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

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APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:08 am

Image M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble

Explanation: 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 featured 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 Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.

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hoohaw

Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by hoohaw » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:52 am

Surprised I can't find the pulsar! (Long, long, ago I was, for just half an hour, the only person in the world who knew that the X-rays from Crab pulsed! Then I phoned a colleague and told him that my Fourier-analysis had found a signal.)

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:56 am

Always such an awesome sight....

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Steve Dutch

Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by Steve Dutch » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:41 pm

To me, this looks nothing like a crab. Maybe a sea slug. The Orion Nebula looks far more like a crab, with the central bright area the carapace and the two outer arms the claws.

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:08 pm

Steve Dutch wrote:To me, this looks nothing like a crab. Maybe a sea slug. The Orion Nebula looks far more like a crab, with the central bright area the carapace and the two outer arms the claws.
Virtually none of the long-named astronomical objects look like their namesakes when observed by the HST (or any high resolution imager). The pareidolia involved in deciding those names depends upon interpreting a fuzzy gray spot in a telescope eyepiece. Does the bunny you see in a cloud still look like a bunny when you can examine the cloud droplet by droplet?

(Lord Rosse, who named the Crab nebula based on an initial observation, couldn't even manage to see it that way in subsequent observations!)
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George Dunbar

Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by George Dunbar » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:50 pm

Does the image of the Crab Nebula show any significant (visible) change during the passage of weeks, months or years?

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by bystander » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:46 pm

George Dunbar wrote:Does the image of the Crab Nebula show any significant (visible) change during the passage of weeks, months or years?
Here's an animation comparing 1999 to 2012, by Adam Block.

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by NGC3314 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:04 pm

George Dunbar wrote:Does the image of the Crab Nebula show any significant (visible) change during the passage of weeks, months or years?
In addition to the expansion and gradual changes in outer filaments shown in that caparison, there are much faster changes due to the pulsar wind very close to it - here is a comparison of Hubble and Chandra time-lapse sequences.

The nebula is noticeably smaller in the first published photographs taken about a century ago now. When Messier found it, it was only about 3/4 of its present size and may have been rather brighter (weasel words because it's unusual among supernova remnants in shining largely from pulsar spindown rather than cooling of the explosion debris as such).

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by ta152h0 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:26 pm

I was traveling thru the farm country in eastern Washington last year and I saw a farmer running his manure spreader behind his tractor. This is the cosmological equivalent.
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quigley

Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by quigley » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:11 am

Are the thousands of pillars visible in the image the same as those we see in star forming regions of nebulae?

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:37 am

quigley wrote:Are the thousands of pillars visible in the image the same as those we see in star forming regions of nebulae?
No. These are filaments of gas and dust that are dispersing. Star forming regions are in the process of collapsing and coalescing- just the opposite of what's happening here.
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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:56 am

People might be interested in a version of the crab I did in June of the visible portion of the Crab in mediumband green by Hubble. it was artificially colored to add visual interest only. It is one of those things I think is very interesting to compare to the available narrowband imagery.
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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by Non Professional » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:26 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:Lord Rosse, who named the Crab nebula based on an initial observation, couldn't even manage to see it that way in subsequent observations!
Maybe he'd been seeing his eyelashes as I usually do the first time out.

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Re: APOD: M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble (2015 Aug 16)

Post by ta152h0 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:09 pm

and imagine how big this really is when you know New Horizons is 4.5+ light hours away and took 9 years to get there on a " fast rocket " and this structure is 10 LY wide in one dimension. It is going to take a few Santa Maria " voyages of discovery and some really wealthy Spanish queens
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