SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Thousand-Ruby Galaxy, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Thousand-Ruby Galaxy, More
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August 29, 2008--A composite portrays the Crab Nebula optically, with an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, and with X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory.

The nebula was produced by a cataclysmic supernova seen by Chinese astronomers in A.D. 1054.

The original star's remains form a pulsar in the center of the nebula which emits radiation in a moving, lighthouse-like beam.

The high-energy radiation's direction of polarization, shown by artwork, is aligned with the pulsar's rotation axis.
—Image by NASA/CXC/ASU/J. Hester et al
 
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