Crab Nebula Compass

 Crab Nebula Compass

Image of the Crab Nebula captured by Webb’s NIRCam and MIRI, with compass arrows, scale bar, and color key for reference.

The north and east compass arrows show the orientation of the image on the sky. Note that the relationship between north and east on the sky (as seen from below) is flipped relative to direction arrows on a map of the ground (as seen from above).

The scale bar is labeled in light-years, which is the distance that light travels in one Earth-year. (It takes 2 years for light to travel a distance equal to the length of the bar.) One light-year is equal to about 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion kilometers. The field of view shown in this image is approximately 10 light-years across. 

This image shows invisible near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths of light that have been translated into visible-light colors. The color key shows which components were observed by NIRCam and MIRI, and which visible-light color is assigned to each feature.

About The Object
Object Name Crab Nebula, M1, NGC 1952
Object Description Supernova Remnant, Pulsar
R.A. Position 05:34:32
Dec. Position +22:00:52
Constellation Taurus
Distance 6500 light-years
Dimensions Image is about 5.5 arcmin across (about 10 light-years)
About The Data
Data Description This image was created with Webb data from proposal: 1714 (T. Temim) - Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)
Instrument NIRCam, MIRI
Exposure Dates 31 Oct 2022, 24 Feb 2023, 17 Mar 2023
Filters NIRCam: F480M; MIRI: F1800W, F2100W
About The Image
Color Info This image is a composite of separate exposures acquired by the James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRCam and MIRI instruments. Several filters were used to sample specific wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter or images derived from mathematical combinations of filters. In this case, the assigned colors are:  Blue: Synchrotron (F480M),  Green: Sulfur (derived from F1800W and F2100W) Magenta: Dust (derived from F1800W and F2100W)
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.