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M 1 The Crab Nebula


M1, The Crab Nebula, and NGC 1952, is a supernova remnant and in the constellation of Taurus. Corresponding to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, the nebula was observed later by John Bevis in 1731. It is estimated to be approximately 6500 lights years from earth and about13 light years across. Historical records show that the Chinese astronomers recorded the Supernova event and that the nebula was visible with the naked eye for several days during the daytime and several months at night.

The analysis of early twentieth century photographs of the nebula which were taken several years apart has show that the nebula is expanding. By tracing the expansion backwards has shown that the nebula must have visible on Earth about as far back as 900 years ago. Research into historical records indicates that a new bright star, that was bright enough to be seen in the daytime, had been recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054. Adam Block also did a comparison with recent photos that he had taken and compared them to images taken back in the late 40’s and 50’s shows the expansion of the Crab Nebula.

The supernova “Crab Nebula” was first identified by John Bevis  in 1731. The nebula was independently rediscovered by Charles Messier  in 1758 as he was observing a bright comet. Charles Messier catalogued it as the first entry in his catalogue of comet-like objects. After several lengthily observations and noticing that the object that he was observing was not moving across the sky, Messier concluded that the object was not a comet.

This image was taken July 2007

This image consists of : 18 X 10mins RGB, 24 X 10mins L and 96 X 10mins HA*   Total time = 29 hours





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