Image Description

The Crab Nebula, in the constellation Taurus, is the expanding remnant of a type II supernova which actually exploded over 7200 years ago.  The Chinese recorded the event in July of 1054 AD, noting a "guest" star visible in daylight.

Outer layers of gas from the progenitor star were ejected in the explosion and have been expanding ever since.  These clouds of gas are visible now because the neutron star, created during the supernova and visible near the center of the cloud, emits ultra-violet radiation which causes the expanding gas cloud to fluoresce.

To view a close-up of the nebular core with the neutron star located, LeftClick the appropriate screen size link below.
Neutron Star Closeup 1024x768 View       Neutron Star Closeup 1600x1024 View

To view an enlarged image LeftClick the appropriate screen size link below.
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