Share

Nebula Creates Wicked Witch Head in the Sky

October 31, 2013

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Massive plumes of gas create a wicked witch profile in the sky in this image taken by the WISE infrared telescope.

Just in time for Halloween, astronomers have discovered a nebula that looks like the profile of a wicked witch.

The star cluster is a massive cloud of gas reflecting light from nearby stars. It's also a stellar nursery. The red dots on the witch's warty chin are stars being born.

The image was taken by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, a space-based telescope that surveyed the entire sky in 2010 and early 2011.

The Witch Head nebula is estimated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation, just off the famous hunter's knee.

WISE was recently "awakened" to hunt for asteroids in a program called NEOWISE.

MORE: The Coldest Place in the Universe


Featured Blogs

People's Climate March Brings 311,000 to New York City

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 22, 2014

The largest demonstration supporting climate change action in world history hit the streets of New York City yesterday, when the People's Climate March brought a crowd of 311,000 participants to Manhattan--more than triple pre-march estimates of 100,000.

Incredible Rainstorm in Southern France

By Christopher C. Burt
September 19, 2014

Torrential rainfall Tuesday through Thursday morning (September 16-18) in the Languedoc Region of southern France has resulted in flooding that has killed at least four people with two others still missing. The rainfall rates during the storm were phenomenal.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.