The Crab Nebula in 60 Seconds
Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC): In 1054 A.D., a star's death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth. Now, almost a thousand years later, a superdense neutron star left behind by the explosion is spewing out a blizzard of extremely high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. This image combines data from Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra telescopes. The size of the X-ray image is smaller than the others because ultrahigh-energy X-ray emitting electrons radiate away their energy more quickly than the lower-energy electrons emitting optical and infrared light. By studying the Crab Nebula, astronomers hope to unlock the secrets of how similar objects across the universe are powered.