A New Color Image of the Crab Nebula
Wainscoat and Kormendy (1997) PASP, 109, 279 present a new color
image of the Crab Nebula taken with the University of Hawaii 88-inch telescope
on Mauna Kea. The original is a 2782 x 1904 pixel mosaic of CCD frames taken
through B (blue), V (green), and R (red) filters; the version shown here is
slightly cropped. The image was color balanced so that the Sun would appear
white. The resolution is approximately 0.8 arcsec FWHM. The red filaments are
hydrogen gas shining by recombination radiation. The smooth light distribution
is synchrotron radiation emitted by electrons moving in the magnetic field of
the nebula. The nebula is substantially reddened by interstellar absorption
(the V-band absorption is about 1.5 magnitudes). The neutron-star pulsar whose
explosion as a supernova in 1054 AD created the nebula is the lower-right of
the two fairly bright stars nearest the center.
Left of the nebula and slightly above center, the short blue streak is the
asteroid 1880 McCrosky. It happened to be moving through the field when the
blue image was taken, but had passed when the green and red images were taken.
Copies of this image for commercial purposes are available from
Dr. Richard Wainscoat at
email address firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone number 1 (808) 956 - 6756.
John Kormendy Home Page
University of Texas Astronomy Home Page
Last update: February 7, 2000
John Kormendy (email@example.com)