Date Taken: 11/13/2010
Equipment: 12.5" PlaneWave Telescope with SBIG ST 10XME camera;
Exposures: Ha-24 min, RGB-28 min each, Lum-68 min. Processing: MaximDL and Photoshop
The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 ly and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers per second. The nebula is referred to as Messier 1 or M1, being the first Messier Object catalogued in 1758. This is one of the most interesting and studied nebula in the sky.
At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star (or spinning ball of neutrons), 28–30 km across, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second. The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.
The nebula acts as a source of radiation for studying celestial bodies that occult it. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Sun's corona was mapped from observations of the Crab's radio waves passing through it, and in 2003, the thickness of the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan was measured as it blocked out X-rays from the nebula.