Astronomy Picture of the Day

SH2 136: A Spooky Nebula

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SH2 136: A Spooky Nebula

The dark nebula SH2-136 appears to be celebrating
Halloween all of the time.

The complex process of
star formation create
dust clouds of many
shapes and
sizes -- it is
human perception
that might identify a ghoulish creature, on the right of the
above image, chasing humans.

Halloween's modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing to
scare away the spirits of the dead.

Since the fifth century BC,
Halloween has been celebrated as a
cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an
equinox (equal day / equal night) and a
(minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere).

With our modern calendar, however, the real
cross-quarter day will occur next week. Other cross-quarter markers include
Groundhog Day and
Walpurgis Night.

News flash: NASA Announces a new Service Mission to the Hubble Space Telescope

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