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Messier 1, the Crab Nebula

Image by Jeff Barton using a 6-inch telescope shows M1, the Crab Nebula, which is a supernova remnant. When a star a few times more massive than our Sun ends its life it will blow itself apart. The remains of the star often form quite beautiful clouds of gas and dust. These nebulae seed the surrounding regions of space with the raw materials needed to form new stars. Buried near the center of this sprawling cloud lies a rapidly-spinning neutron star, the first Pulsar discovered.