Motion in the Crab Nebula

About this video
Duration: 6 seconds

This time-lapse movie of the Crab Nebula, made from NASA Hubble Space Telescope observations, reveals wave-like structures expanding outward from the "heart" of an exploded star. The waves look like ripples in a pond.

The heart is the crushed core of the exploded star, or supernova. Called a neutron star, it has about the same mass as the sun but is squeezed into an ultra-dense sphere that is only a few miles across and 100 billion times stronger than steel. This surviving relic is a tremendous dynamo, spinning 30 times a second. The rapidly spinning neutron star is visible in the image as the bright object just below center. The bright object to the left of the neutron star is a foreground or background star.

The movie is assembled from 10 Hubble exposures taken between September and November 2005 by the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

GIF, HD Video, Nebulas, Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Scientific Visualizations, Stars, Supernova Remnants


Acknowledgment: J. Hester (Arizona State University)

Publication: October 27, 2016

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