Three color Crab


The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant – formed in 1054 with the explosion of a massive star at the end of its life. The nebula is the guts of that star, expanding into space. They are hot and energized by the spinning pulsar at the center of the nebula. The nebula emits a lot of radio and X-ray light, as well as the colors we can see with our eyes.

I took this image last month at the Peter van de Kamp Observatory on the roof of the Science Center. It represents about an hour of exposure time. I took several images with each of three filters (blue, green, and red, each with a ~100 nm bandwidth), color-coded them (with pretty standard RGB colors) and combined them to produce this image.