News Release Archive:

News Release 439 of 1002

December 1, 2005 04:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2005-37

A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula


Image: Crab Nebula: a Dead Star Creates Celestial Havoc

Crab Nebula:  a Dead Star Creates Celestial HavocSTScI-PRC2005-37b

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This composite image of the Crab Nebula uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray image is shown in light blue, the Hubble Space Telescope optical images are in green and dark blue, and the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared image is in red. The size of the X-ray image is smaller than the others because the outwardly streaming higher-energy electrons emitting X-ray light radiate away their energy more quickly than the lower-energy electrons emitting optical and infrared light. The neutron star, which has the mass equivalent to the sun crammed into a rapidly spinning ball of neutrons twelve miles across, is the bright white dot in the center of the image.

Object Names: Crab Nebula, NGC 1952

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, JPL-Caltech, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State Univ.), R. Gehrz (Univ. Minn.), and STScI


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