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Spooky Astronomy, part 4

It’s one of my favorites times of year – the Halloween season! And with Halloween comes our annual Spooky Astronomy post. This time I’ve been saving images up all year, so hopefully you’ll see something new!

A grinning one-eyed skull? Actually a complex planetary nebula around a dying star.

NGC 5189: An Unusually Complex Planetary Nebula
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)

Here a “galactic ghoul” rears its spooky head to the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope. (It’s actually star-forming region DR6!)

Galactic Ghoul' Rears Its Spooky Head
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)

Raise your hand if you like spiders! No one? I’m sure this nebula is spider-free… unless you look at it in the infrared! This “Black Widow Nebula” is made from “bubbles” being formed in opposing directions by outflows from massive groups of baby stars.

Black Widow Nebula Hiding in the Dust
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)

The below image shows the birth of a monster… star. It’s in the process of forming within a dark cloud and it will someday have 100 times the mass of the sun!

ALMA observes the birth of a monster star
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)

Ghostly orbs float through space in this ultraviolet image from GALEX. Actually, this image shows a runaway star (center), plowing through space and piling up interstellar material before it!

Plowing Through the Depths of Space
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)

More ghostly orbs, green this time. This one is a planetary nebula around a dying star.

ESO's VLT images the planetary nebula IC 1295
Credit: ESO

This little alien “space invader” with glowing eyes is actually a spiral galaxy that has been distorted in appearance due to gravitational lensing.

Hubble image of Abell 68
Credit: NASA & ESA. Acknowledgement: N. Rose

Screaming skull with flaming hair? Nope, another planetary nebula!

Flaming Skull Nebula
Credit: Credit: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF)

Here are a few more from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Archives – the Red Spider Planetary Nebula, and a ghost in Cepheus.

We’ll close with our spooky astronomy images from 2012, 2011 and 2010 – they’re worth checking out if you haven’t seen them!


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