Chandra Discovers X-Ray Ring Around Cosmic Powerhouse in Crab Nebula

Chandra_241_1024

chandra_241 September 28th, 1999

Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO

The explosion was seen on Earth in 1054 AD. At the center of the nebula is a rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar that emits pulses of radiation 30 times a second. The image shows the central pulsar surrounded by tilted rings of high-energy particles that appear to have been flung outward over a distance of more than a light year from the pulsar. Perpendicular to the rings, jet-like structures produced by high-energy particles blast away from the pulsar. The diameter of the inner ring in the image is about one light year, more than 1000 times the diameter of our solar system. The X rays from the Crab nebula are produced by high-energy particles spiraling around magnetic field lines in the Nebula. The bell-shaped appearance of the Nebula could be due to the way this huge magnetized bubble was produced or to its interaction with clouds of gas and dust in the vicinity.

Provider: Chandra X-ray Observatory

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/1999/0052/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

Image Details

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

Distance

Universescale1
6,000 light years
Chandra_241_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 34m 31.1s
DEC = 22° 0’ 55.9”
Orientation
North is 1.4° CW
Field of View
3.2 x 3.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Taurus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Purple Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (X-ray) 826.7 pm
DatasetID is the Chandra observation ID
Spectrum_xray1
Purple
Chandra_241_1280
×
ID
241
Subject Category
B.4.1.4.   B.3.1.9.1.  
Subject Name
Crab Nebula
Credits
NASA/CXC/SAO
Release Date
1999-09-28
Lightyears
6,000
Redshift
6,000
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/1999/0052/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra
Instrument
ACIS
Color Assignment
Purple
Band
X-ray
Bandpass
X-ray
Central Wavelength
0.8267
Start Time
1999-08-29T21:28:57
Integration Time
2616
Dataset ID
168
Notes
D
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
83.6295453, 22.0155289
Reference Dimension
2400.0, 2400.0
Reference Pixel
1201.0, 1201.0
Scale
2.21772e-05, 2.2177169e-05
Rotation
-1.43
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-ray Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
0052_xray.tif
Metadata Date
2010-11-09
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
6,000 light years