At the heart of the nebula is a rapidly spinning pulsar, which is the incredibly dense core of a collapsed star that is rotating around its axis.
Dubbed the “engine” of the nebula, the pulsar emits powerful blasts of radiation 30 times a second with incredible clock-like precision.
NASA’s astronomers have now for the first time dissected the nebula in multiple wavelengths to create a detailed 3D model of what the exploded star’s remains look like.
According to Frank Summers of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, the 3D model will help scientists better understand these incredible phenomena.
The astronomer said: “Seeing two-dimensional images of an object, especially of a complex structure like the Crab Nebula, doesn’t give you a good idea of its three-dimensional nature.