Dear Hatpeople, may I have the pleasure of introducing you to Crab Nebula?

As everybody who shares with me the sprawling Umdloti pile of Hatman Mansions knows, I like my photography. And I like my space.

So it behoves (cool word, hey?) me to share with you a stunning photograph of Crab Nebula. Which is not the name of an American baseball player but of something that inhabits Space. Er, that’s the space around Umdloti and the rest of our planet. Out there. Among the sun and the moon and the stars and the other stuff which floats and whizzes aimlessly around and gets people in anoraks staring through very long lenses. But, as I never paid much attention in Science class because they didn’t bother to teach us really interesting shit such as stuff about Crab Nebula and all the other sky-crawly things, I’ll stop my preamble right here.

Stop. And stare. In wonder. At this.

Old Hubble did a good job of snapping this baby, didn't he? I can't get this stuff on my Canon

Old Hubble did a good job of snapping this baby, didn't he? I can't get this stuff on my Canon

How cool is that? That would easily beat Mrs Cawthorne-Blazeby’s latest pic of her roses into second place down at the Umdloti Camera Club, wouldn’t it? Yes. I think it would.

OK. So because I sat at the back of Science class and talked with my chinas about soccer, surfing and the very short skirt worn by Cyrenna in 5B, I can’t tell you much about the background to Crab Nebula. Except that it’s dark. I just like looking at the pictures. But I can steer you over to The Astronomical Picture of The Day where a designated boffin, who clearly knows much more than my old science master Mr Gray, will get you quickly up to speed.

“The mess left behind after a star explodes,” he says. Nice. I like that. Even I can understand that. It’s exciting. Mr Gray never excited me about science like that. But what do you expect from a bald oke who wore a light-blue safari suit to school every day?