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Crab Pulsar

Crab Pulsar Facts

Information on Crab Pulsar

The Crab pulsar is a neutron star that is at the heart of the Crab Nebula. It is a relatively young pulsar, the Supernova was first observed on Earth by Chinese astronomers on July 4th, 1054 A.D. and was visible during the day for 23 days and at night for almost two years. There are no observations at that time by European astronomers.

The pulsar flashes in radio, x-ray and gamma wavelength at 30 times a second and its what lights up the Nebula. Britannica.

The original star before it went supernova is believed to have been a dwarf star of spectral types O or B (both of which are blue stars). The original star is believed to have been eight to twelve times the mass of our Sun and when it exploded, most of the mass was lost in the dust and clouds of the nebula. Solstation

The Crab Pulsar is slowing down at a rate of 38 nanoseconds per day. A nanosecond is 1/1,000,000,000 or a billionth of a second. Space

Crab Pulsar's Alternative Names

Crab Pulsar has alternative name(s) :- CM Taurus, PSR B0531+21.

More details on objects' alternative names can be found at Star Names .

Location of Crab Pulsar

The location of the pulsar in the night sky is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is along the celestial equator. If the R.A. is positive then its eastwards. The Declination is how far north or south the object is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Crab Pulsar, the location is 05h 34m 31.97s and +22° 00` 52.1 .

Proper Motion of Crab Pulsar

All stars like planets orbit round a central spot, in the case of planets, its the central star such as the Sun. In the case of a star, its the galactic centre. The constellations that we see today will be different than they were 50,000 years ago or 50,000 years from now. Proper Motion details the movements of these stars and are measured in milliarcseconds. The star is moving 2.00 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -14.70 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon. . When the value is negative then the star and the Sun are getting closer to one another, likewise, a positive number means that two stars are moving away. Its nothing to fear as the stars are so far apart, they won't collide in our life-time, if ever.

Physical Properties (Temperature) of Crab Pulsar

Crab Pulsar Colour and Temperature

Crab Pulsar has a spectral type of P. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.5 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,114 Kelvin.

Crab Pulsar Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 0.92 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 637,807.96.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Crab Pulsar Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Crab Pulsar has an apparent magnitude of 16.50 which is how bright we see the star from Earth. Apparent Magnitude is also known as Visual Magnitude. Using the supplied Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 4.79 Magnitude, whether it be apparent/visual or absolute magnitude is measured by a number, the smaller the number, the brighter the Star is. Our own Sun is the brightest star and therefore has the lowest of all magnitudes, -26.74. A faint star will have a high number.

Distance to Crab Pulsar

The Parallax of the star is given as 0.46 which gives a calculated distance to Crab Pulsar of 7168.43 light years from the Earth or 2197.80 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 7168.43 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

The star is roughly 453,325,632.35 Astronomical Units from the Earth/Sun give or take a few. An Astronomical Unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun. The number of A.U. is the number of times that the star is from the Earth compared to the Sun.

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Additional Crab Pulsar Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameCrab Pulsar
Alternative NamesCM Taurus, PSR B0531+21
Spectral TypeP
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type Pulsar
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationTaurus
Visual / Apparent Magnitude16.50
Naked Eye VisibleRequires 8m Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 34m 31.97s
Declination (Dec.)+22° 00` 52.1
Distance from Earth0.46 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 7168.43 Light Years
 2197.80 Parsecs
 453,325,632.35 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.2.00 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-14.70 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.50

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)0.92

Sources and Links


Sourcehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Pulsar

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