M1 Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula (also called M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A and Taurus X-1) is a plerion-type supernova remnant. It is the remnant of supernova SN 1054, observed and documented as a star visible in daylight by Chinese and Arab astronomers on July 5, 1054, remaining visible for 22 months.

The center of the nebula contains a pulsar or neutron star, called the Crab pulsar, which rotates on itself at 30 revolutions per second.

The nebula was discovered in 1731 by John Bevis. To this end, Charles Messier began his catalogue of non-cometary objects. Located at a distance of approximately 6300 light-years (1930 pc2) from Earth in the constellation Taurus, the nebula has a diameter of six light-years (1.84 pc) and its expansion rate is 1500 km/s.

Technical data:

Telescope: S/C 8″
Focal Length Reducer: Meade 6.3
Filters: Clear
Telescope Guide: SkyWatcher ED80
Mount: LX200 GPSR
Guide CCD: QHY5
CCD Temp:-5º
Ambient Temp:0º
Location: Anunaki Observatory / Rivas Vaciamadrid (Madrid)

At the center of the Crab Nebula are apparently two dim stars, one of which is the star responsible for the nebula’s existence. It was identified in 1942, when Rudolf Minkowski discovered that its optical spectrum was extremely unusual and did not resemble that of a normal star.

In 1949 it was discovered that the region around the star was a large source of radio waves, in 1963 it was discovered that it was also an X-ray source, and in 1967 it was identified as one of the brightest celestial objects in gamma rays.

Then, in 1968, the star was found to emit its radiation in rapid pulses, becoming one of the first pulsars to be identified, and the first to be associated with a supernova remnant.