The world is celebrating Halloween today and it seems that NASA is not far behind. The US space agency has released an image taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope which shows a jack-o’-lantern (the carved out pumpkin lamp) in space.
The space agency has released a GIF image which adds an outline of the gourd shape. The space researchers nicknamed it as the “Jack-o’-lantern Nebula,” according to a statement by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). According to the observations of the researchers, this particular region is located on the edge of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
According to the agency, a massive star known as an O-type star which is around 15 to 20 times heavier than the Sun, has carved the shapes into this nebula. As per the recent study of the region, the powerful outflow of radiation and particles from the star is likely to have swept across the surrounding dust and gas outward creating deep gouges in this cloud.
The Spitzer Space Telescope detects infrared light. It detected the star glowing like a candle at the centre of a hollowed-out pumpkin, JPL said.
In the case of this particular image, it contains three different wavelengths of the infrared light. The colours of the image represent the different wavelengths. The O-type star which is responsible for the creation of this scary face is seen as a white spot at the centre of the nebula.
“Three wavelengths of infrared light compose the multicolor image of the nebula seen here. Green and red represent light emitted primarily by dust radiating at different temperatures, though some stars radiate prominently in these wavelengths as well,” the JPL statement said.
The space agency further explained that the combination of green and red in this image created yellow hues. The blue colour represents a wavelength mostly emitted by stars and some very hot regions of the nebula, while white coloured regions indicate where the objects are bright in all three colours.
Apart from this image, just recently the space agency also shared an image clicked by the Hubble telescope which depicts a ghostly face staring back at us.