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Chinese Astronomy SN1054

Chinese astronomers watching the sky on July 4, 1054, noted the appearance of a new or "guest" star just above the southern horn of Taurus. This Supernova (or violently exploding star), now known as the Crab Nebula is also referred to as SN 1054.

The Crab Nebula, the most intensely studied bright nebula is about 6500 light years away from Earth and is roughly 10 light-years in diameter.

The Supernova was visible with the naked eye in daylight for 23 days and is reported to have been visible for 653 days or almost 2 years. There are no records of its observation at the time by Europeans.

In 1921 it was discovered to be still expanding; the present rate is about 1,100 km (700 miles) per second.

Shown below: The ancient records of SN 1054, marked by blue lines, in Chinese historical documents. The left and middle pictures come from Song Shi and the right picture comes from Song Huiyao Jigao.

Use this link to see what the Hubble Space Telescope captured on your birth date:


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