10 February 2017 | IC 443

Jellyfish Nebula Manuel Huss

Image credit & copyright: Manuel Huss | Click image to enlarge or click here for full size

Image Data

  • Date: January 2017
  • Camera: Atik 383L+
  • Optics: TS Star 71
  • Filters: Baader narrowband filters
  • Exposure: Ha 12 x 1200s, OIII 8 x 1200s, SII 10 x 600s 2×2

This wide-field image made by Manuel Huss from Luxembourg  shows the spectacular filamentary structure of IC 443, or better known as the Jellyfish Nebula. The nebula, lying 5,000 light years from Earth, is the remnant of a supernova.

Observations show that the explosion that created the Jellyfish Nebula may have also formed a peculiar object located on the southern edge of the remnant, called CXOU J061705.3+222127, or J0617 for short. The object is likely a rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar.

When a massive star runs out of thermonuclear fuel, it implodes, forming a dense stellar core called a neutron star. The outer layers of the star collapse toward the neutron star then bounce outward in a supernova explosion. A spinning neutron star that produces a beam of radiation is called a pulsar. The radiation sweeps by like a beacon of light from a lighthouse and can be detected as pulses of radio waves and other types of radiation.

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