Experimental Astronomy

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

An automated approach for photometer and dust mass calculation of the Crab nebula

  • Cyrine NehméEmail author
  • Sarkis Kassounian
  • Marc Sauvage
Original Article


Ample evidence exists regarding supernovae being a major contributor to interstellar dust. In this work, the deepest far-infrared observations of the Crab Nebula are used to revisit the estimation of the dust mass present in this supernova remnant. Images in filters between 70 and 500 μ m taken by the PACS and SPIRE instruments on-board of the Herschel Space Observatory are used. With a novel and automated approach we constructed the spectral energy distribution of the Crab nebula to recover the dust mass. This approach makes use of several image processing techniques (thresholding, morphological processes, contouring, etc..) to objectively separate the nebula from its surrounding background. After subtracting the non-thermal synchrotron component from the integrated fluxes, the spectral energy distribution is found to be best fitted using a single modified blackbody of temperature T = 42.06 ± 1.14 K and a dust mass of Md = 0.056 ± 0.037 M. Our aim in this paper is to highlight the importance of the photometric methods and spectral energy distribution construction on the accuracy of inference for astrophysical parameters.


Dust mass Crab Nebula Far-Infrared (FIR) Image processing Herschel Synchrotron 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyrine Nehmé
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Sarkis Kassounian
    • 1
  • Marc Sauvage
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physics & AstronomyNotre Dame UniversityLouaizeLebanon
  2. 2.AIM, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-SaclaySaint-AubinFrance
  3. 3.Université Paris DiderotSorbonne Paris CitéFrance

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