Movie Captures Dance of the Crab

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Science  07 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5267, pp. 1417
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5267.1417


Over the past year, astronomers used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make time-lapse images of the Crab Nebula, the relic of a supernova explosion 7000 light-years away. The result is a movie that reveals week-by-week changes in the glowing gases and shows that the spinning neutron star at the heart of the nebula doesn't fling out particles uniformly, as was thought, but in two specific regions. Waves of material emanate from its equatorial regions, and a focused jet spurts from its south pole. Now theorists have to figure out why