astronomyblog: The Crab Nebula: A Cosmic Icon A star’s…

astronomyblog:

The Crab Nebula: A Cosmic Icon

A star’s spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. Now, almost a thousand years later, a super dense object – called a neutron star – left behind by the explosion is seen spewing out a blizzard of high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. X-ray data from Chandra provide significant clues to the workings of this mighty cosmic “generator,” which is producing energy at the rate of 100,000 suns.

Credit: NASA / JPL / Chandra