M 1

This image is a sneakpreview of what is yet to come. I am planning on adding deep luminance, O3 and Ha

once the weather permits...We are now looking at a combination of different data:

L (OSC,Ha,O3)-R(R,Ha)-G(G,O3)-B(B-O3)

Date: Dec 2006 - seeing 6-7/10; transp. 6-8/10; December 08 - seeing 6/10; transp 6/10

Scope: 9" TMB Apo f/7 using TeleVue 0,8 reducer

CCD: SXV H9C - 3 hours - 4,6,8,10 min. frames; SXV H16 - 300 min rgb (2x2), 90 min O3, 90 Min Ha, 40 min L (all 1x1) - all 10 min subframes

Software: AstroArt4 image acqu. guiding and preprocessing for OSC. CCD Stack and Maxim for O3 and Ha.

Processing: postprocess. PS CS2 and Pix InSight LE


 
 

The socalled Crab-nebula is one of the best reknown celestial objects of the northern hemisphere. More so as it's appearance on earth has been monitored by chinese astronomers from 4th of April 1054 till the following moths. This object renders a supernova-remnant. This is was remains after a giant explosion of a star (SN type 2).

In a distance of 6300 Lightyears M1 can be found in the constellation Taurus and it is relatively bright, shining at 8m4 and holding some 6 by 4 arc minutes (equaling about 11 by 7 lightyears), which makes it an easy object for a moderate telescope, dark skies granted of course, as the contrast is rather low in visual light.

The SN was visible for several days (weeks) during daylight and many months at night, until it drifted out of focus of the former astronomers, as they had no telescopes available. In the year 1731 John Bevid, and a little later 1785 Charles Messier "re-discovered" the nebula. Actually the discovery of this very nebula yield to the decision of Mr. Messier to create the very well known catalogue, named after him.

Usually massive stars are capable of creating heavier elements than just Helium, the normal product of stellar hydrogen-fusion. This fusion-process yields in the production of elemts like oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur, up to iron in the core of such star. As a consequence the star becomes unstable (when running out of fuel to power its nuclear fusion reactions) and then the consecutive supernova explosion (type 2) can possibly lead to formation of far heavier elements, which will then be spread in space by means of the explosion and enrich the space with material needed to form new stars and planets. (Literally such an explosion could be regarded as a sacrifice of these stars, promoting the creation of further stars and planets, and life per se.)

What we see in the image are the socalled filament structures (redish coralle-like entities) of parts of the athmosphere of the progenitor star. In these structures elements like carbon, oxygen, neon, nitrogen and sulfur can be found. This nebula-shaped mantle, which is very hot at some 11.000 Kelvin, grows and expands centripedically at a velocity of 1500 km/s. What remained in the center of the stars original phenotypical location is a socalled pulsar, a fast rotating neutronstar, holding a phenomenal strong magnetic field of 8 potences Tesla but being only some 25 km in diamter! This magenitic field interacts with the nebula around and the electrons, which are forced by such magentic field to move at near lighspeed, emitting synchrotron-radiation, leading to the typical blueish light in the core of the nebula.

This very pulsar is also a serious source of radiowaves, x-ray and gamma-radiation. Though this object is very well investigated and much is known about the processes having gone through in the past and phenomena going on at present, some puzzling questions are still open: theory suggests, that the entire mass of the nebula and the pulsar added up is considerably less than the predicted mass of the progenitor star! Where has all the mass gone which is missing? In many cases, stars immediately prior to a supernova explosion expell serious amount of mass in a socalled stellar wind (typical example would be the crescent nebula, as a pre-supernova status of a bunch of stars, called Wolf Rayet stars, forming nebulosity around them). Such nebulosity however, cannot be found around M1. May further investigations reveal the reasons for this.

 

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