M1, Crab Nebula

2020-01-15 / Click on image to enlarge

"Chinese astronomers noted the explosion leading to the Crab Nebula first on 4 July 1054. According to records, the bright source was visible during the daytime for 23 days."

The explosion of a star is called supernova. The star spews its innards out across the sky, creating an expanding wave of gas and dust known as a supernova nebula. One the most famous of these supernova remnants is M1, also called the Crab Nebula.

The Crab Nebula lies at a distance of 6,500 light years from Earth and is like our sun system part of the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The nebula has a total luminosity 75,000 times that of the Sun. Messier 1 is about 11 light years in diameter and keeps expanding at a rate of about 1,500 kilometres per second. In the middle of the nebula, a neutron star rotates at a rate of 30.2 times per second, also called a pulsar. This pulsar is the youngest one observed and emits radiation in optical, radio, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray wavelengths.

Technical Details

LocationZollikerberg, Switzerland
CameraNikon DSLR D810A
TelescopeTS ONTC 12" f/4 Carbon Newton
OpticsTS 2,5" Wynne Coma Corrector
Focal Length1140mm
MountiOptron CEM60 Center-Balanced Equatorial Mount
AutoguidingPHD2 (Dithering)
Planetarium SoftwareStellarium
Image Session ControlAPT - Astro Photography Tool v3.81, ASCOM Platform 6
Lights64 x 120s (total 2h08'), ISO-1600, additional Biases, Flats, no Darks
Stacking SoftwarePixinsight 1.8, Drizzle 2x
Image ProcessingPixinsight 1.8