Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
M1 Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula was the first entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog, and thus designated as M1. MI is also known as the Crab Nebula due to its vague resemblance to the horseshoe crab. M1 is actually a remnant of a supernova from a star that exploded in 1054 C.E., and chronicled by Chinese astronomers as bright enough to be seen in daylight for days! Type II supernovae occur when a giant star (at least nine times as massive as our sun) runs out of nuclear fuel, begins to collapse, and then rebounds in a huge explosion that can be brighter than an entire galaxy! The filaments in the Crab Nebula are remnants of the original star's atmosphere, energized by synchrotron radiation from the rapidly spinning neutron star (a pulsar) at its core.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors