Friday, December 25, 2009

Advent calendar December 25: Crab nebula

I didn't come up with a professional image this time, but figured I would go with an image I took on Christmas day at about 1:30 am. Skies cleared, thermometer was showing 22 degrees at the scope, moon was gone, and wrapping was done in the house so I couldn't get to bed anyway!
There are a lot of theories on what the "Christmas star" really was. Comet, supernova, planetary conjunction or something else explainable. The star that formed the M-1 Crab nebula blew up in 1054, isn't that fairly close to the right date? Anyway, here is what remains of that star that blew up 1,000 years ago....
(click image for full size as always)

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