Crab Nebula - Hubble Telescope shot - Framed Picture - 20"H x 16"W
A 20"H x 16"W" framed picture of Crab Nebula - Hubble Telescope shot
The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. It is not, as its name might suggest, in Cancer. The now-current name is due to William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, who observed the object in 1840 using a 36-inch telescope and produced a drawing that looked somewhat like a crab. Corresponding to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, the nebula was observed later by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731. The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.
Modern understanding that the Crab Nebula was created by a supernova dates to 1921, when Carl Otto Lampland announced he had seen changes in its structure. This eventually led to the conclusion that the creation of the Crab Nebula corresponds to the bright SN 1054 supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in AD 1054, but virtually unrecorded in Islamic texts.
The event was long considered unrecorded in Islamic astronomy, but in 1978 a reference was found in a 13th-century copy made by Ibn Abi Usaibia of a work by Ibn Butlan, a Nestorian Christian physician active in Baghdad at the time of the supernova.