This new Hubble Heritage image of the Crab nebula supernova remnant combines images taken in different wavelengths and at different times to give an impression of the evolution of this pulsar system. This image uses data from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera, and show in red the structure of the shell of ionized gas expanding around the central neutron star. Blue colours indicate the glow of radiation from electrons in the intense magnetic field; they are shown in different colours at different times of observation, giving the rainbow effect as the pulsar spins. The image shows a region about 2.5 light years across, at a distance of about 6500 light years.
This image is published in the August 2016 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.