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The Crab-Nebula - Stock Image

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The Crab Nebula is the most famous and conspicuous known supernova remnant. It was noted on July 4, 1054 A.D. by Chinese astronomers as a new or "guest star". It was visible in daylight for 23 days, and 653 days to the naked eye in the night sky.

The nebulous remnant was discovered by John Bevis in 1731. Charles Messier independently found it on August 28, 1758, when he was looking for comet Halley on its first predicted return, and first thought it was a comet. It was the discovery of this object which caused Charles Messier to begin with the compilation of his catalog.

This nebula was christened the "Crab Nebula" on the ground of a drawing made by Lord Rosse about 1844.

The nebula consists of the material ejected in the supernova explosion, which has been spread over a volume approximately 10 light years in diameter, and is still expanding at the very high velocity of about 1,800 km/sec. The filaments are apparently the remnants from the former outer layers of the former star.

The Crab Nebula can be found quite easily from Zeta Tauri, the "Southern Horn" of the Bull, which can be easily found ENE of Aldebaran.

The nebula can be easily seen under clear dark skies, but can equally easily get lost in the background illumination under less favorable conditions. M1 is just visible as a dim patch in 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars. With a little more magnification, it is seen as a nebulous oval patch, surrounded by haze. The amateur can verify Messier's impression that M1 looks indeed similar to a faint comet without tail in smaller instruments.

Image taken with a Canon EOS 20Da camera and a professional Astro-CCD-Camera in prime focus of a professional reflector-telescope at 1290mm f/5.1. Exposure time is 75 minutes for the RGB-color and 200 minutes for the luminance-channel.

This is a very very deep and real image, so the "noise" in background is no noise, these are very dim stars again. The image is not overprocessed and sharp.
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