The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus.

The nebula was first observed by John Bevis, and corresponds to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers in 1054. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years (2 kpc) from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 ly (3.4 pc) and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometres per second.

At the centre of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a rotating neutron star, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second. The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.

Images by Simon Dawes

Messier 1 SD01

Images by Andy Wilson


Images by Julian Tworek



Images by Keith Rickard