New view of the Crab Nebula
Combining data from various observatories covering (almost) the full electromagnetic spectrum, a new, very detailed and beautiful image of the Crab Nebula has been produced. See the NASA website for details. The individual ingredients are highlighted in the video below:
This video starts with a composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant that was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The video dissolves to the red-colored radio-light view that shows how a neutron star’s fierce “wind” of charged particles from the central neutron star energized the nebula, causing it to emit the radio waves. The yellow-colored infrared image includes the glow of dust particles absorbing ultraviolet and visible light. The green-colored Hubble visible-light image offers a very sharp view of hot filamentary structures that permeate this nebula. The blue-colored ultraviolet image and the purple-colored X-ray image shows the effect of an energetic cloud of electrons driven by a rapidly rotating neutron star at the center of the nebula. Credits: NASA, ESA, J. DePasquale (STScI)
The Crab Nebula was the first astrophysical object observed in TeV gamma-rays. This breakthrough measurement was performed with the Whipple Observatory (using a 10-meter mirror and a 37-pixel camera) and was announced in July 1989 ("Observation of TeV gamma rays from the Crab nebula using the atmospheric Cerenkov imaging technique" – APJ 342 (1989) 379-395). Until today the Crab nebula is used as 'standard candle' and calibration source in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. A recent example can be found in this paper from the HAWC Collaboration: Observation of the Crab Nebula with the HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory.
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