Crab Nebula


Crab Nebula
the remnant of a supernova explosion, observed in 1054 A.D., in the constellation Taurus.
[1885-90]

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Bright nebula in the constellation Taurus, about 5,000 light-years from Earth.

Roughly 12 light-years in diameter, it is the remnant of a supernova, first observed by Chinese and other astronomers in 1054, that was visible in daylight for 23 days and at night for almost two years. Identified as a nebula с 1731, it was named (for its form) in the mid-19th century. In 1921 it was discovered to be still expanding; the present rate is about 700 mi/second (1,100 km/second). The Crab is one of the few astronomical objects from which electromagnetic radiation has been detected over the entire measurable spectrum. In the late 1960s a pulsar, thought to be the collapsed remnant star of the supernova, was found near its centre.

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 (catalog numbers NGC 1952 and M1), probably the most intensely studied bright nebula, in the constellation Taurus, about 5,000 light-years from Earth. Roughly 12 light-years in diameter, it is assumed to be the remnant of a supernova (violently exploding star) observed by Chinese and other astronomers first on July 4, 1054. The supernova was visible in daylight for 23 days and at night for almost 2 years. There are no records of its observation at the time by Europeans.

      The discovery of the object as a nebula is attributed to the English physician and amateur astronomer John Bevis in about 1731. In 1758 it was the first object listed (M1) in Charles Messier (Messier, Charles)'s catalog of nebulous objects. It acquired its name, suggested by its form, in the mid-19th century. In 1921 it was discovered to be still expanding; the present rate is about 1,100 km (700 miles) per second.

 The Crab is one of the few astronomical objects from which radiation has been detected over the entire measurable spectrum, from radio waves through infrared and visible wavelengths to ultraviolet and X rays. In the late 1960s the Crab pulsar (NP 0532), thought to be the collapsed remnant of the supernova, was discovered near the centre of the nebula. The pulsar, which flashes in radio, visible, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths at 30 times per second, provides the energy that allows the nebula to glow.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Crab nebula — n. a crab shaped, rapidly expanding cloud of gas in the constellation Taurus, containing a neutron star pulsar: believed to be the remnants of the supernova of A.D. 1054 …   English World dictionary

  • Crab Nebula — Crab Nebula …   Wikipedia

  • Crab Nebula — Datenbanklinks zu Krebsnebel Supernovaüberrest Krebsnebel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Crab Nebula — Crab′ Neb ula n. astron. the remnant of a supernova explosion observed in 1054 a.d. in the constellation Taurus …   From formal English to slang

  • Crab Nebula — /kræb ˈnɛbjələ/ (say krab nebyuhluh) noun a gaseous nebula in the constellation Taurus; remnant of the supernova observed in 1054 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Crab Nebula — noun a remnant of a supernova detected first in 1054 AD • Instance Hypernyms: ↑supernova • Member Holonyms: ↑Taurus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Southern Crab Nebula — The Southern Crab Nebula or Hen2 104 is a nebula located, as seen from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus, but it is actually several thousand light years from our planet. Its central star is a symbiotic Mira variable white dwarf pair.The… …   Wikipedia

  • Crab Pulsar — The Crab Nebula, which contains the Crab Pulsar. Image combines optical data from Hubble (in red) and X ray images from Chandra (in blue). NASA/CXC/ASU/J. Hester et al.[1] …   Wikipedia

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  • nebula — nebular, adj. /neb yeuh leuh/, n., pl. nebulae / lee , luy /, nebulas. 1. Astron. a. Also called diffuse nebula. a cloud of interstellar gas and dust. Cf. dark nebula, emission nebula, reflection nebula …   Universalium


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