A Stellar Death - October 1999 through December 2000
On July 4, 1054, a “new star” startled Chinese astronomers, who wrote that the star was so bright that it was visible in broad daylight for several weeks. Almost a thousand years later, we know that the appearance was caused by a star 10 times the mass of our sun that exploded as a supernova. What’s left of the dead star is still spewing out high-energy particles into the Crab Nebula. This Hubble image, composed from 24 exposures, reveals the nebula’s structure.