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Abstract

The Crab Nebula, henceforth the Crab, the remnant of the historical supernova of 1054 AD, has long been of intense interest. The pulsar at the center of the Crab has a spin-down luminosity ∼105 times that of the Sun. The outer nebula holds several solar masses of material ejected by the explosion. Between the two lies the trapped pulsar wind, visible as synchrotron radiation at radio wavelengths through X-ray wavelengths. Recent observations with the , the , and a host of other instruments have provided a wealth of information about the extraordinary structure and dynamics of the Crab. Understanding those data requires thinking of the Crab not in terms of its individual components, but instead as a single interconnected physical system formed as the axisymmetrical wind from the pulsar pushes its way outward through a larger freely expanding supernova remnant.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.astro.45.051806.110608
2008-09-22
2024-04-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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