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Messier Gallery

M1 (NGC 1952), or the Crab Nebula, an 8th-magnitude supernova remnant in Taurus.

M1 is a shell of gas expanding around a rapidly spinning pulsar. The gas is the debris from the supernova of 1054. The pulsar (officially NP 0532), the first ever observed, is a neutron star (a collapsed stellar core). To find it in this image, click here. Since 1054, M1 has been continuously expanding, and is still blasting its way through space at 1000+ miles per second. M1's size is estimated at 10 light-years by 7 light-years.

A 60-second exposure; 19 November 1995, ~11:19 UT.

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