M1, 2MASS
M1, or the Crab Nebula, is the remains of an enourmous explosion which occured in 1054. Since then the gas and dust thrown off in the explosion has been expanding out in a giant shell-like structure. The remnant of the exploded star is known as a pulsar, a very dense compact star spinning many times a second.

This image was taken as part of the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS). This survey was carried out at a wavelength of 2 microns which lies in a part of the electromagnetic spectrum known as the near infra-red.

This image shows the warm gas in the nebula and is quite similar to the optical picture.

Image credit: 2MASS