Imagine the Universe!

The Crab Nebula

Crab Nebula ROSAT HRI Image Crab Nebula ROSAT HRI Image

Images of of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar from ROSAT (left) and Chandra (right). The ROSAT image shows X-rays from 0.1 - 2.0 keV; the Chandra image shows X-rays from 0.5 - 8.5 keV.
(Click on images for higher resolution versions)
(ROSAT Credit: S.L. Snowden, NASA/GSFC. Chandra Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

Both the Crab Nebula and Crab pulsar are clearly visible in these images of the Crab nebula taken by the ROSAT High Resolution Imager (HRI) (left) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) (right). The supernova precursor to these objects was observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054. The pulsar (the bright compact emission) produces highly relativistic electrons which themselves produce synchrotron radiation in the magnetic field of the nebula.

Last Updated: March 2011

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
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