Hubble captures Crab Nebula's 'beating heart' in stunning close-up image – See pic!
As Hubble peered deep into the core of the Crab Nebula, it caught sight of the dramatic remains of a supernova remnant, an exploding star.
New Delhi: The Hubble Space Telescope has captured and released a stunning close-up image of Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant.
As Hubble peered deep into the core of the Crab Nebula, it caught sight of the dramatic remains of a an exploding star - the beating heart of one of the most historic and intensively studied remnants of a supernova. In the image, the inner region can be seen sending out clock-like pulses of radiation and tsunamis of charged particles embedded in magnetic fields.
— NASA (@NASA) July 7, 2016
“The neutron star at the very center of the Crab Nebula has about the same mass as the sun but compressed into an incredibly dense sphere that is only a few miles across. Spinning 30 times a second, the neutron star shoots out detectable beams of energy that make it look like it's pulsating”, NASA says.
The Hubble snapshot is centered on the region around the neutron star, surrounded by filamentary debris. Hubble's sharp view captures the intricate details of glowing gas, shown in red, that forms a swirling medley of cavities and filaments.
“The neutron star is a showcase for extreme physical processes and unimaginable cosmic violence. Bright wisps are moving outward from the neutron star at half the speed of light to form an expanding ring”, NASA adds.
When this 'heartbeat' radiation signature was first discovered in 1968, astronomers realized they had discovered a new type of astronomical object.
It is said that observations of the Crab supernova were recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD.
The Crab Nebula, which is bright enough to be visible in amateur telescopes, is located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus.