Crab Nebula: Energy for 100,000 Suns (NASA, Chandra, 11/23/09)

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A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. Now, almost a thousand years later, a super dense object -- called a neutron star -- left behind by the explosion is seen spewing out a blizzard of high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. X-ray data from Chandra provide significant clues to the workings of this mighty cosmic "generator," which is producing energy at the rate of 100,000 suns.

This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray image is shown in blue, the Hubble Space Telescope optical images are in yellow and red, and the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared image is in purple. The X-ray image is smaller than the others because extremely energetic electrons emitting X-rays radiate away their energy more quickly than the lower-energy electrons emitting optical and infrared light. Along with many other telescopes, Chandra has repeatedly observed the Crab Nebula over the course of the mission’s lifetime. The Crab Nebula is one of the most studied objects in the sky, truly making it a cosmic icon.

Read entire caption/view more images: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2009/crab/

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J.Hester & A.Loll; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Minn./R.Gehrz

Caption credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Read more about Chandra:
www.nasa.gov/chandra

p.s. You can see all of our Chandra photos in the Chandra Group in Flickr at: www.flickr.com/groups/chandranasa/ We'd love to have you as a member!

View 20 more comments

  1. Mimantu 52 months ago | reply

    Awesome Shot!

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  2. heinvanwersch 52 months ago | reply

    Awesome Shot!

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  3. S~A~LL <3 52 months ago | reply


    Wonderful Scenery... Great Capture!


    Your Photo Deserves My Moderator's Award!

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    Wonderful Scenery... Great Capture!


    Your Photo Deserves My Moderator's Extra Award!

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    Wonderful Scenery... Great Capture!


    Your Photo Deserves My Moderator's Bonus Award!

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  4. seychellois 52 months ago | reply

    Amazing shot !!


  5. Zenon64 52 months ago | reply

    Congratulations, E x c e l l e n t!
    EPERKE Award (Post 1: Award 5)

    Epaw

    2 photos each day! Have a nice day!

  6. Nebojsa Mladjenovic 52 months ago | reply

    Congratulations, E x c e l l e n t!
    EPERKE Award (Post 1: Award 5)

    Epaw

    2 photos each day! Have a nice day!

  7. joel8x 52 months ago | reply

    Congratulations, E x c e l l e n t!
    EPERKE Award (Post 1: Award 5)

    Epaw

    2 photos each day! Have a nice day!

  8. sunsetcolors 52 months ago | reply

    Congratulations, E x c e l l e n t!
    EPERKE Award (Post 1: Award 5)

    Epaw

    2 photos each day! Have a nice day!

  9. Kuzeytac 52 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Extreme Sky, and we'd love to have this added to the group!


    Now That's Extreme!!
    We will be happy to have this in...
    The Extreme Sky Group.
    --
    Seen in the group"NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory" ( ?² )

  10. photo61guy 51 months ago | reply

    Absolutely top shelf.

  11. garlandcannon 48 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called North Wind's Daughter, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  12. umuekempi 48 months ago | reply

    The real face value image of Africa is back in air form symbol of idol

  13. Cristina▲ 45 months ago | reply

    are you kidding me? It's so gorgeous... I always loved this kind of pictures. :D

  14. umuekempi 44 months ago | reply

    great view from the air

  15. sophiayoung 44 months ago | reply

    Congratulations! Your photo has received the Amber Award from FotoVotr. It has been selected from the Flickr community because of its interest and popularity. For more information, please visit the FotoVotr Amber Group. We would be honored to have you join us!

  16. umuekempi 44 months ago | reply

    From backward race culture space race observer it was seen in air form central core fluid intelligent system atmosphere sun spot activity that created a new form cosmic kind of beast in 2005.

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