Halloween brings forth all manner of motifs, from the perky pumpkin patches to the creepy crawly creatures. Today I’m showing you something from the stars. Spiral arms and colliding galaxies – the stuff of sci-fi nightmares – this is Arp 272, some 450 million light-years away.
Just think of how far that is.
Boggles the mind, it does.
I first saw this particularly haunting photo on the 9/22/11 posting at APOD, the Astronomy Picture of the Day, NASA’s daily entry of fascinating photos. Fortunately for us, unlike the botanists who classified and named living things in mundane Latin, the astronomers named things in the heavens using their vivid imaginations. If you move your cursor over today’s APOD photo offering you will see just what I mean – the picture is chock full of spooky nebulae, (Ha! that’s Latin!) and Cousin Margaret is there too. You can check my blog posting, Sky Shots, for a glimpse of what APOD offers each day.
While your mind is being boggled at the distance of Arp 272 – remember that name, there’ll be a quiz later on in life – have a hauntingly Happy Halloween.