Cosmic Ripples — image created with FITS Liberator

This image was “liberated” with the FITS Liberator from the FITS file from the Gemini North telescope. It captures the heart of Messier 1, the Crab Nebula. Formed by a colossal supernova explosion in the year 1054, the Crab Nebula consists of the outer layers of a now-dead massive star strewn across a region of space roughly 10 light-years across. The ripple-like structures visible in this image emanate from the heart of the nebula, where a pulsar — the dense, quickly rotating remains of the supernova’s progenitor star — is unleashing a hail of charged particles into the surrounding gas. The boundary where these charged particles slow down and pile up creates the bright ripples shown here. These ripples then expand outward over the course of months, causing the Crab Nebula to resemble a pool of disturbed water on an unimaginably vast scale.

Credit:

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURAAcknowledgements: J. Miller (Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab), T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)  

About the Image

Id:ann2104c
Type:Observation
Release date:18 March 2021, 21:00
Related announcements:ann2104
Size:2160 x 2160 px

About the Object

Name:Messier 1
Constellation:Taurus
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

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118.4 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):5 34 31.52
Position (Dec):22° 0' 45.69"
Field of view:0.80 x 0.80 arcminutes
Orientation:North is -0.0° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
H2 1-0 S(1)
2.122 μmGemini North
NIRI
Infrared
Br-Gamma
2.167 μmGemini North
NIRI
Infrared
K
2.2 μmGemini North
NIRI

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