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Posted by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Inspired by the halloween season, this telescopic portrait captures a cosmic cloud with a scary visage. The interstellar scene lies within the dusty expanse of reflection nebula IC 2118 in the constellation Orion, the Hunter. IC 2118 is about 800 light-years from your neighborhood, close to bright bluish star Rigel at Orion's foot. Often identified as the Witch Head nebula for its appearance in a wider field of view it now rises before the witching hour. With spiky stars for eyes, the ghoulish apparition identified here seems to extend an arm many light-years long toward Orion's hot supergiant star. The source of illumination for IC 2118, Rigel is just beyond this frame at the upper left.

Photo by Casey Good/Steve Timmons

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