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June 26, 2017 - Beating Heart of the Crab Nebula

Beating Heart of the Crab Nebula  Peering deep into the core of the Crab Nebula, this close-up image reveals the beating heart of one of the most historic and intensively studied remnants of a supernova, an exploding star. The inner region sends out clock-like pulses of radiation and tsunamis of charged particles embedded in magnetic fields. The neutron star at the very center of the Crab Nebula has about the same mass as the Sun but compressed into an incredibly dense sphere that is only a few miles across. Spinning thirty times a second, the neutron star shoots out detectable beams of energy that make it look like it’s pulsating. This NASA Hubble Space Telescope snapshot is centered on the region around the neutron star (the rightmost of the two bright stars near the center of this image).

Image credit: NASA / ESA

Weekly Calendar

June 26 - July 2, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 26

1730: Charles Messier born
1914: Lyman Spitzer, Jr born
1963: Syncom 2 satellite launched
1984: First space shuttle launch pad abort (STS-41D)

Moon phase Tuesday 27

Regulus 0.03° north of Moon

1982: STS-4 Columbia launched
1995: STS-71 Atlantis launched
1997: NEAR-Shoemaker probe flies by asteroid Mathilde
2013: IRIS spacecraft launched

Moon phase Wednesday 28

2017: Soyuz MS-05launched carrying ISS Expedition 52/53 crew

Moon phase Thursday 29

1868: George Ellery Hale born
1961: Transit 4A launched, first nuclear-powered satellite
1971: Soyuz 11 crew dies during reentry

Moon phase Friday 30

First Qtr Moon 8:51 PM ET

1908: Tunguska impact levels hundreds of miles of Siberian forest
2001: WMAP spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 1

Canada Day (Canada)

Jupiter 3° south of Moon

1917: 100” mirror arrives at Mt. Wilson Observatory
1972: Wernher von Braun retires from NASA
1997: STS-94 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 2

Juno at opposition
Mercury 5° south of Pollux

1985: European Space Agency launches Giotto probe to study Halley’s Comet

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