June 30, 2014 - You’d Be Crabby If You Blew Up, Too

You’d Be Crabby If You Blew Up, Too Nine hundred sixty years ago this week a star in the constellation Taurus glowed as bright as the full Moon for several days. Chinese astronomers recorded the suddenly appearing star, which we now know to be a pulsar in the heart of the Crab Nebula. The Crab Nebula, the remains of that supernova explosion, is a highly energetic object, powered by the central spinning pulsar. This composite image of the Crab Nebula uses X-ray data from the Chandra telescope (light blue), optical data from Hubble (green and dark blue), and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The neutron star, which has the mass equivalent of the Sun crammed into a rapidly spinning ball of neutrons just 20 km (12 mi) across, is the white dot in the center of the image.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / CXC / JPL-Caltech / J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State Univ.) / R. Gehrz (Univ. Minn.) / STScI

Weekly Calendar

June 30 - July 6, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 30

Moon at apogee

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

Moon phase Tuesday 1

Canada Day (Canada)

Mercury appears stationary

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

Moon phase Wednesday 2

Venus 4° north of Aldebaran

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

Moon phase Thursday 3

Earth at aphelion

1935: Harrison Schmitt born

Moon phase Friday 4

Independence Day

Pluto at opposition

1054: Crab Nebula supernova observed
1997: Mars Pathfinder lands on Mars
2005: Deep Impact probe collides with comet Tempel 1
: STS-121 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 5

First Qtr Moon 7:59 AM ET
Mars 0.2° south of Moon

1966: Apollo-Saturn 203 launched
1982: Space Shuttle Challenger arrives at Kennedy Space Center for first time

Moon phase Sunday 6

1687: Isaac Newton publishes his Principia

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