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Swirly Crab Nebula | by geckzilla
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Swirly Crab Nebula

This is the swirly component of the Crab Nebula. Not real colors, but a colorized grayscale image of a single filter. You are probably used to seeing Hubble's version of the Crab as looking like this (click the link). Data from the same survey was used to make that image and my image here, but it is quite radically different, isn't it? This is the difference between a mediumband green filter and the narrowband filters which pick up various emissions.


Can you imagine this shape more as the carapace of a crab, now? This might be a little closer to what it looks like visually through the eyepiece of a telescope (in shape, not color, can't emphasize enough how not-real these colors are). It doesn't have legs or pincers. (It never did look much like a crab even back when William Parsons drew a picture of it, though.)


I started working on this mosaic sometime last month. I didn't work on it constantly, but it did take a while. A lot of cosmic rays had to be removed by hand. I lightened some of the empty places around the edges of the nebula. It's a small adjustment to keep your eyes from being distracted by the few hard edges.


Data came from the following proposal:

An Emission Line Survey of the Crab Nebula


All channels: WFPC2 F547M


North is up.

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Taken on June 7, 2015