Moons page — updated on February 16th, 2017

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Photo: Witch Head Nebula

Brightly illuminated by Rigel the star in the constellation ORION the Hunter, the Witch Head Nebula (IC 2118) was NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (link to larger image) for October 30th - right before Halloween! This stellar nebula should probably be better known as Witch Face Nebula. To the right of Rigel in the image below, you may see a face in the bright blue region and/or the star-studded background (distinct nose and chin) facing left towards the blue area. With the blue face, you could say that her hat is the much-fainter conical structure. Regardless of the interpretation, this is arguably one of the most interesting images of a nebula!


Small and original image © Jeff Signorelli

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage: Hubblesite.org/categories/images.

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula