[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Calvin Observatory
Home
Hours
Directions
Weather Forecast
Cool Images
Equipment
Publications
Observing Request
External Links
 
Related Links
Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

Previous imageUp to Astr110 IndexNext image

Crab Nebula, Kelly Zwiep

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula was discovered by a Chinese Astronomer in 1054 A.D. But what he was seeing then, was not at all what we see today of the Crab Nebula. He saw an incredibly bright supernova. It was so bright that it could be seen during the daytime for 23 days straight. The American Indians may have also seen this supernova explosion in northern Northern New Mexico, in Choco Canyon. There were two cave pictures found that were of a very bright star next to a crescent moon, which is where the supernova would have exploded at that time, in 1054 A.D.  It was as bright as Venus in the sky. Today we see remnants of that supernova. Crab Nebula is in the constellation Taurus, and in the center of the nebula is a very bright neutron star as massive as our sun. Crab Nebula is 6,500 light years away.

In this picture of Crab Nebula, we see a large mass of dust and gasses that seem to be glowing. This white mass is called synchrotron radiation. There are fast electrons in a magnetic field. They are emitted from the neutron star. In the center of this mass of white, there is a very bright star. This is the condensed neutron star that exploded to create the beautiful object we see today. Running through the clear cloud of gas, there seems to be streaks of red. The red streaks are streaks of hydrogen. The calculated linear size that I got for Crab Nebula is 9.41 light years.

References:
Harrison, Tom "Crab Nebula ." Nine Planets. <http://www.manoprietoobservatory.com/photos/singles/crabnebula_120902.html>.

Author unknown. "Crab Nebula" A History of the Crab Nebula . <http://www.kopernik.org/images/archive/crab.htm>

Right Ascension (J2000) 05:34:30.00
Declination (J2000) +22:01:00.00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

October 20, 2007
October 31, 2007