Just because it’s awesome: Crab nebula

(Curiosity goes hand-in-hand with doubt and leads to an ongoing discovery of awesome aspects of reality.)

Crab Nebula (from Wikipedia)

The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant in the constellation of Taurus (from Wikipedia.)

There are (at least) two things I find awesome about this astronomical object. First, it

“… is widely accepted to be due to a supernova seen in the year 1054 CE by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arab astronomers, who reported sighting a new bright star in the heavens. The star was so brilliant that it was visible even during the day for nearly three weeks and only faded from view nearly two years later.” (From Astronomy magazine.)

The fact that something discovered in 1731( by John Bevis) has been connected to observations recorded in 1054 shows the power of writing and science as well as showing how curiosity spans millennia and cultures.

But what really catches my eye is that the Crab Pulsar at the center of the nebula is a neutron star with a mass greater than the sun that is only about 20 miles in diameter and rotates at 30 times per second. Isn’t that awesome?

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