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Date: 08/01/2010


Name: The Crab Nebula  - M1 -  Mag 8.4

On the 4th July 1054 or earlier, in April or May of that year, a new bright star was observed in Taurus.  The star was so bright it could be seem with the naked eye even in the daylight.   The star was a supernova and the nebula we see today represents the outer layer of the exploding supernova.  The remaining star in the centre is a pulsar which measures only 10km in diameter  and a cubic centimetre of its matter would weigh a thousand million tons, so much has it been compressed in the gravitational collapse of the supernova !

The nebula itself is an astonishing 10 light years in diameter.  To put that into perspective, if the Sun were the size of a basketball, the Crab Nebula would be the size of planet Earth.  Keep in mind it's expanded to this size in only 950 years !

The link between the  Chinese astronomers observations in 1054 to what we now know as the Crab Nebula was only made by astronomers during WWII.



Location: Greenwood  WA - Backyard Stacking Mode:  Mosaic
Camera: Canon 20D - LP Filter Removed Alignment Method:  Automatic
Optics: Mead LX200R Stacking Mode:  Mosaic
Exposure: 800ASA - 13 x 420 Seconds RGB BKG Cal:  Yes
Total Exposure:  1 Hour 31 Minutes. Per Channel Cal:  Yes
Guiding: DSI on Skywatcher ED80. Method:  Median Kappa-Sigma K=2/I=5
Filter: Astronomik CLS-CCD Darks:  Yes
Focus: Bahtinov Mask Flat:  No
  Full Details

Position in Sky

PhotoShop CS4

RA (J2000):   05 h   34.5 Min Levels, Colour Balance, Curves, Saturation Scaling, jpeg Conversion.
DEC (J2000):  +22 Deg 1 Min
Constellation:  Taurus
Distance:  6,500 Light Years