“The origin and evolution of life are connected in the most intimate way with the origin and evolution of the stars.” -Carl Sagan
The Crab Nebula is one of the most interesting and compelling objects in the entire night sky. In the year 1054, a supernova went off in the constellation of Taurus, where it became brighter than anything other than the Sun and Moon in the sky. Some 700 years later, astronomers discovered the remnant of that supernova: the Crab Nebula.
For nearly a millennium, it’s been expanding at 0.5% the speed of light, and the nebula now spans more than 11 light years across. With a neutron star at its core and a shell with incredibly intricate structures, it’s one of our greatest cosmic clues to where the Universe’s enriched, heavy elements came from.