This is the Crab Nebula. It is a large star that exploded and we are seeing the resulting shell of gas expand away from it. The explosion occured in the 9th century AD, being recorded by Chinese astronomers and a few others. At it's center lies the first known Pulsar, an spinning neutron star that only emits it's light from the polar regions. It blinks on and off as it spins. This star spins so fast, it flashes in milliseconds.
I imaged this with my smaller Mak-Cassegrain scope using Cyan-Magenta-Yellow filters.