A slow-motion movie of the Crab Pulsar taken at 800 nmwavelengthusing aLuckyImagingcamera fromCambridge University,showing the bright pulse and fainterinterpulse.Theoptical pulsaris roughly 25 km in diameter and the pulsar "beams" rotate onceevery 33 milliseconds, or 30 times each second. The outflowing relativistic wind fromthe neutron star generatessynchrotron emission,which produces the bulk of theemission from the nebula, seen fromradio wavesthrough togamma rays.The mostdynamic feature in the inner part of the nebula is the point where the pulsar's equatorialwind slams into the surrounding nebula, forming atermination shock .The shape andposition of this feature shifts rapidly, with the equatorial wind appearing as a series of wisp-like features that steepen, brighten, then fade as they move away from the pulsarinto the main body of the nebula. The period of the pulsar's rotation is slowing by 38nanosecondsper day due to the large amounts of energy carried away in the pulsarwind.
X-ray picture of Crab pulsar, taken byChandraTheCrab Nebulais often used as a calibration source inX-ray astronomy.It is verybright inX-raysand theflux densityandspectrumare known to be constant, with theexception of the pulsar itself. The pulsar provides a strong periodic signal that is used tocheck the timing of the X-ray detectors. In X-ray astronomy, 'crab' and 'millicrab' aresometimes used as units of flux density. A millicrab corresponds to a flux density of about 2.4x10