Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


The Witch Head Nebula
<< Yesterday 30.10.2015 Tomorrow >>
The Witch Head Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Jeff Signorelli
Explanation: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble .... maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A suggestively shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its frightening visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigel's starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebula's color is caused not only by the star's intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earth's atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
 < October 2015  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su



1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: IC 2118 - Witch Head Nebula
Publications with words: IC 2118 - Witch Head Nebula
See also: