Crab Nebula from Five Observatories

Spitzer_ssc2017-05a_500

spitzer_ssc2017-05a May 10th, 2017

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Dubner (IAFE, CONICET-University of Buenos Aires) et al.; A. Loll et al.; T. Temim et al.; F. Seward et al.; VLA/NRAO/AUI/NSF; Chandra/CXC; Spitzer/JPL-Caltech; XMM-Newton/ESA; and Hubble/STScI

In the summer of the year 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers saw a new "guest star," that appeared six times brighter than Venus. So bright in fact, it could be seen during the daytime for several months.

This "guest star" was forgotten about until 700 years later with the advent of telescopes. Astronomers saw a tentacle-like nebula in the place of the vanished star and called it the Crab Nebula. Today we know it as the expanding gaseous remnant from a star that self-detonated as a supernova, briefly shining as brightly as 400 million suns. The explosion took place 6,500 light-years away. If the blast had instead happened 50 light-years away it would have irradiated Earth, wiping out most life forms.

In the late 1960s astronomers discovered the crushed heart of the doomed star, an ultra-dense neutron star that is a dynamo of intense magnetic field and radiation energizing the nebula. Astronomers therefore need to study the Crab Nebula across a broad range of electromagnetic radiation, from X-rays to radio waves.

This image combines data from five different telescopes: the VLA (radio) in red; Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared) in yellow; Hubble Space Telescope (visible) in green; XMM-Newton (ultraviolet) in blue; and Chandra X-ray Observatory (X-ray) in purple.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra's science and flight operations.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6372-ssc2017-05a-Crab-Nebula-from-Five-Observatories

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Crab Nebula
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Supernova Remnant
Star » Evolutionary Stage » Neutron Star » Pulsar

Distance

Universescale1
6,500 light years
Spitzer_ssc2017-05a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 34m 33.1s
DEC = 22° 1’ 24.7”
Orientation
North is 0.2° CCW
Field of View
4.4 x 4.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Taurus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_red VLA Radio (S-band) 100.0 mm
Arrow_left_yellow Spitzer (MIPS) Infrared (Mid-IR) 24.0 µm
Arrow_left_green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (SII) 673.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue XMM-Newton (Optical-UV Monitor) Ultraviolet (UV) 390.0 nm
Arrow_left_purple Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (X-ray) 826.7 pm
Spectrum_xray2
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_yellow
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_purple
Spitzer_ssc2017-05a_1280
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ID
ssc2017-05a
Subject Category
B.4.1.4   B.3.1.9.1  
Subject Name
Crab Nebula
Credits
NASA, ESA, G. Dubner (IAFE, CONICET-University of Buenos Aires) et al.; A. Loll et al.; T. Temim et al.; F. Seward et al.; VLA/NRAO/AUI/NSF; Chandra/CXC; Spitzer/JPL-Caltech; XMM-Newton/ESA; and Hubble/STScI
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
VLA, Spitzer, Hubble, XMM-Newton, Chandra
Instrument
-, MIPS, WFPC2, Optical-UV Monitor, ACIS
Color Assignment
Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
Band
Radio, Infrared, Optical, Ultraviolet, X-ray
Bandpass
S-band, Mid-IR, SII, UV, X-ray
Central Wavelength
1e8, 24000, 673, 390, 0.8267
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
83.63793182370, 22.02352142330
Reference Dimension
5290.00, 5290.00
Reference Pixel
4811.93272558996, 508.53793404719
Scale
-0.00001383215, 0.00001383215
Rotation
0.24718511834
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.0 revision 213+ by the Chandra X-ray Center
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2017-05a.tif
Metadata Date
2017-05-10
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
6,500 light years