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Hubble Telescope Reveals 'Beating Heart' Of Crab Nebula

First Posted: Jul 08, 2016 06:56 AM EDT
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In the Taurus constellation, 6,500 light-years away is the Crab Nebula, and the Hubble Telescope just revealed its "beating heart" in an extraordinary view that has never been seen before.

The new image from the telescope revealed the beating heart of the most studied remnants of a supernova - the Crab Nebula. Right at its center is a spinning core of a deceased star (known as a neutron star) that breathes life into the gas that surrounds it, known as the remnants of a supernova, the explosion that served as the dying act of a massive star. The remnants, which The Daily Mail noted is made entirely of subatomic particles, have the same mass as the sun, but compressed into a sphere, only tens of kilometers across.

A typical neutron star is said to spin very fast, and at the center of the nebula is no exception, with speeds noting to come at approximately 30 times per second. This shows extreme physical process and notable violence from the celestial body. Gizmodo reported that the shot grabbed by Hubble of the nebula showed the incredibly fast rotation and generation of extremely strong force - making it difficult for the telescope to see past the exterior.

The "heartbeat" radiation signature of the Crab nebula, according to Phys.org, was actually discovered in 1968, and astronomers realized that they discovered a new type of astronomical object. Astronomers know it's the archetype of pulsars - which is also a class of supernova remnants and another word for the neutron stars.

Observations of the Crab Nebula supernovae have been recorded by Chinese astronomers since 1054AD, and this made it invaluable for the study of supernova remnants, helping astronomers probe on the lives and deaths of stars like they've never done so before.

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