June 16, 2009 Issue

Physics To Go 75 - Crab nebula

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Physics in Your World

1054 Supernova Petrograph image
© Ron Lussier/lenscraft.  All rights reserved; image source

1054 Supernova Petrograph

This Anasazi painting at Chaco Canyon may be a depiction of the 1054 supernova, which we see today as a supernova remnant, the Crab Nebula.

-- Learn about the details of the painting and the 1054 supernova at 1054 Supernova Petrograph.
-- Find out more about the Crab Nebula from this Messier catalogue entry.

(This feature was updated on August 14, 2013.)

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Physics at Home

A Pulsar Discovery

Listen to the audio recorded during the discovery of optical pulsars in this American Institute of Physics historical exhibit. The exhibit also features interviews with the discoverers, John Cocke and Michael Disney, as well as commentary from MIT professor Phillip Morrison.

For an activity, check out this evolution stage sequencing activity from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

(This feature was updated on August 14, 2013.)


From Physics Research

Crab Nebula and Pulsar image
Image credit: A. Loll, J. Hester, ASU, NASA, ESA; image source; larger image

Crab Nebula and Pulsar

This visible light image of the Crab Nebula from the Hubble telescope captures the violence of a supernova event.

- The intricate filaments are rapidly expanding strands of gas left over from the original star.
- The nebula is lit up by the rotating neutron star, or pulsar, at its center.
- Learn more about Type II supernovae and pulsars through the Crab Nebula at Crab Nebula and Pulsar.

(This feature was updated on August 14, 2013).

Worth a Look


You might enjoy visiting the Supernovae page, provided by the Goddard Space Flight Center, to learn why some stars die in a supernova explosion and how neutron stars are formed.

- Find out what specific star masses lead to which death at You Are My Shining Star, published by the American Physical Society.
- For more detailed information, see these pages on Solar-Mass Star death and High-Mass Star death from the Australia Telescope National Facility.

(This feature was updated on August 14, 2013.)

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