With people celebrating Halloween with spooky pumpkin cravings, NASA too has joined the bandwagon, with their out-of-the-world entry. To mark the festival, the space agency released photos and video of the newly discovered “greater pumpkin.”
Pictures from NASA’s Hubble Telescope recently spotted something that looks remarkably like a giant jack-o’-lantern in the outerspace — two brightly lit eyes and a crooked smile. “Sorry Charlie Brown, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is taking a peek at what might best be described as the “Greater Pumpkin,” that looks like a Halloween decoration tucked away in a patch of sky cluttered with stars,” the agency wrote on its website.
The remarkable image is a snapshot of the early stages of a collision between two galaxies, NASA explained. “The entire view is nearly 109,000 light-years across, approximately the diameter of our Milky Way,” it added.
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Two glowing eyes, and a crooked, carved smile… 🎃 Hubble’s special Halloween image of colliding galaxies is sure to give you a fright. Take a closer look, if you dare! For more about the image, check out the link in our bio! #NASAHalloween #Halloween￼ #NASA #Hubble #space #science #pumpkin #astronomy #telescope
Remarking about the orange hue of the ‘greater pumpkin’, the agency said it corresponds to the “glow of aging red stars in two galaxies”. The dark bluish tinge of the grin is due to “newborn star clusters, spread out like pearls on a necklace, along a newly forming dusty arm”.
In case you’re wondering what’s responsible for the brightly lit, glowing eyes, scientists explained that it’s a huge concentrations of stars around a pair of supermassive black holes.
And if you’re into more spooky Halloween decorations in space, NASA has many offerings this year. Earlier this week, Hubble also spotted what the agency described as a giant bat. “The universe has bats in the attic!” it wrote while sharing a GIF.
The universe has bats in the attic! 🦇@NASAHubble spotted the shadow of a giant cosmic bat. Disks of gas and dust surround newborn stars like the one at the center of the bat. Studying the shadows they cast can clue us in to the disk’s size and density. https://t.co/wziDT5Hb3B pic.twitter.com/6k9NAOQxgL
— NASA BOOniverse 👻 (@NASAUniverse) October 27, 2020
And as the annual celebration is incomplete without a trick or treat tradition, NASA showed how universe has a ” cosmic candy” in store for all Halloween fans. NASA Hubble also shared an image of what looks like a huge candy in hues of green, blue and orange, which is actually the “outer layers of a dying Sun-like star.”
It wouldn’t be Halloween without treats! 🍬 @NASAHubble spotted this piece of cosmic candy, which is actually the outer layers of a dying Sun-like star. Read more here: https://t.co/wvNFsZmogo #NASAHalloween pic.twitter.com/POx03xfU3v
— NASA BOOniverse 👻 (@NASAUniverse) October 29, 2020Subscriber Only Stories
People on social media loved the spooky treat for the occasion, when celebrations are quite different this year, with revellers urged to avoid large gatherings.