Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Crab Pulsar

Here is an image of the Crab taken with the 8 inch Newt and the DS 2.3+. It is a much enlarged image from the full frame image I posted a few days ago.  The pulsar itself is quite visible. The "blob" is actually two stars (as you can see if you look closely). The "upper" star is the pulsar.

For comparison sake, I've posted an unattributed image I found on Gene Smith's tutorial page at the UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences which shows the pulsar.

The Pulsar in the Crab 

The Pulsar from an image on the UCSD Center for Astrophysics Site
The Crab Pulsar (PSR B0351+21) was "born" in the supernova of 1054. It was discovered in 1968 and is the first pulsar to be associated with a supernova. The stellar remnant is around 20km in diameter and pulses around 30 times a second.

Go here for an amazing image taken of the pulses by an amateur astronomer working in his back yard with a small 200mm aperture scope, a modified, inexpensive security camera, and a homebrew chopper wheel:
http://www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk/astro/astro_image_33.htm

Amazing work!