Haunting Photos: The Spookiest Nebulas in Space

Witch's Head Nebula


A witch appears to be screaming out into space in this new image of the Witch Head nebula from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, released on Halloween (Oct. 31, 2013). [Read the Full Story Behind this Photo Here]

Witch's Broom Supernova Remnant, NGC 6960

Fred Herrmann

Just in time for Halloween, astrophotographer Fred Herrmann sent in a photo of the "Witch's Broom," NGC 6960, part of the Veil Nebula. Herrmann took the photo from his observatory, Owl Mountain Observatory on Blue Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. Photo dated 2013. [Read the Full 2013 Halloween Story Here]

NGC 7380, the Wizard Nebula

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

This beautiful image shows the beautiful open star cluster NGC 7380, also known as the Wizard Nebula. [Read the Full 2013 Halloween Story Here]

Screaming Skull!

A. Fabian (IoA Cambridge) et al., NASA

This screaming skull above is actually a Chandra image of the Perseus Cluster of galaxies in x-rays.

Eye of Sauron?

NASA, ESA, and P. Kalas (University of California, Berkeley)

Extrasolar planetary system, or Eye of Sauron?

Witch's Cackle

NASA/STScI Digitized Sky Survey/Noel Carboni

The Witch Head Nebula in the constellation Orion.

A Spooky Nebula

Adam Block, NOAO, AURA, NSF

SH2-136 is a an illuminated dark nebula, about 1200 light-years away, towards the constellation Cepheus.

Cosmic Hand Reaches for the Light

NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane, et al.

Red represents low-energy X-rays, the medium range is green, and the most energetic ones are colored blue. The blue hand-like structure was created by energy emanating from the nebula around they dying star PSR B1509-58. The red areas are from a neighboring gas cloud called RCW 89.

The Glowing Eye


The glowing eye of NGC 6751 in the constellation Aquila, the nebula is a cloud of gas ejected several thousand years ago from the hot star visible in its center.

A Cosmic Ghost's Head

Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris) et al., ESA, NASA

The Ghost Head Nebula, NGC 2080, is actually a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy.

The Cat's Eye Sees All

J. P. Harrington (U. Maryland) & K. J. Borkowski (NCSU) HST, NASA

Three thousand light-years away, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope of the Cat's Eye Nebula.

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