October 31, 2010

* Happy Halloween

Ever get that 'alone' feeling?  I have a feeling our knowledge about the Universe and it's workings could fit in a pin head.  We have only just begun to understand.  Have a peek at this short video and allow your mind to wander.   Hubble Ultra Deep Field 3D

Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2010 October 31
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Halloween and the Ghost Head Nebula
Credit: Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris) et al., ESA, NASA
Explanation: Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. 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 solstice (minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere). With a modern calendar, however, the real cross-quarter day will occur next week. Another cross-quarter day is Groundhog's Day. Halloween's modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing to scare away the spirits of the dead. Perhaps a fitting tribute to this ancient holiday is this view of the Ghost Head Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Similar to the icon of a fictional ghost, NGC 2080 is actually a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy. The Ghost Head Nebula spans about 50 light-years and is shown in representative colors.


Tomorrow's picture: peak of the furnace

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