This is one of the largest and most detailed views ever captured of the Crab Nebula. It is an example of what is known as a supernova remnant. It was formed when a giant star violently exploded as a supernova in the year 1054. As the star exploded, gas and other material from the star expanded outward at incredible speeds. The core of the star was left behind as a rapidly spinning neutron star. Energy from the neutron star causes the gas to glow. The Crab Nebula is 6 light years across and is located over 6,500 light years from Earth.
NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University)