Supernova Remnant NGC 1952
|Apparent size:||6 x 4 arc min (roughly one fifth of a lunar diameter).|
|Diameter:||10.8 light years.|
|Distance:||6,200 light years.|
✴ STAR GOES BOOOM!!!!!!!!!!
A large star, now known as CM Tauri, erupts in a supernova explosion now called SN1054A.
At the age of 967 years, the supernova remnant was emitting photons which would arrive on Earth 6,200 years later, right now in 2021 CE.
First light on Earth from a new “guest star” (visible in daytime), as the supernova was recorded by Chinese historians.
The nebula, now known to be a Supernova remnant, was first discovered.
The nebula becomes the first entry (M1) in the Messier Catalogue.
The nebula first designated as the Crab Nebula – by someone who must be the only person in the entire cosmos who reckoned it resembled a crab.
Proximity of Crab Nebula to the 1024 “guest star” established.
Expansion of Crab Nebula confirmed.
Confirmation that Crab Nebula and “guest star” are the same object.
Strong radio emission discovered from nebula.
X-ray emission discovered from nebula.
Discovery of Pulsar (a rapidly rotating neutron star) at the heart of the Crab Nebula.
Telescopes on Earth are capturing photons which were emitted in 4179* BCE.
* approximately, of course.
The nebula consists of the remnants of the progenitor star’s atmosphere, and consist largely of ionised helium and hydrogen, along with carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron, neon and sulfur.
The outer filaments are visible in the image. Their temperatures are typically between 11,000º and 18,000º K.
This is how Aladin sees the pulsar, using the Panstarrs survey:
I would like to think that the faint star in my image, at the centre of the nebula, is the pulsar and progenitor star. It is in the right location and when magnified appears fuzzy and almost merging with the adjacent star but I’m not 100% certain, especially as it is a 17th magnitude star.
So maybe is the best I can say.
I’d always regarded M1 as being potentially a difficult object to image – just something to try “one day”. I don’t know why. However during an earlier session this month I hunted it down with a simple 2 second DSLR exposure which prompted me to at last attempt it with my telescope:
|Feature image date:||2021-01-16.|
|Exposure:||120 minutes (160 sub-frames @ 45 sec).|
|Field of View:||76.3 x 50.8 arcmin. Orientation: up is 323° E of N|
Location of M1
|SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor; 840 mm f/l @ f/7.|
|SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount; ZWO ASI120 guide camera.|
|Imaging camera: ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro (CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx).|
|Software: EQMOD, PHD2, SharpCap, Gimp.|
|Observatory location: 34° South.|
Images © Roger Powell
I’m a founder member of Macarthur Astronomical Society