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Ghost Nebula

By October 12, 2006

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It's October and Halloween is approaching. Check out this spooky image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope of these ghostly reflections in the Pleiades. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has caught the eerie, wispy tendrils of a dark interstellar cloud being destroyed by the passage of one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster. Like a flashlight beam shining off the wall of a cave, the star is reflecting light off the surface of pitch black clouds of cold gas laced with dust. These are called reflection nebulae.

The famous cluster is easily visible in the evening sky during the winter months as a small grouping of bright blue stars, named after the "Seven Sisters" of Greek mythology. Resembling a small dipper, this star cluster lies in the constellation Taurus at a distance of about 380 light-years from Earth. The unaided eye can discern about half a dozen bright stars in the cluster, but a small telescope will reveal that the Pleiades contains many hundreds of fainter stars.

Space up your computer in a ghostly way with this Ghost Nebula wallpaper or choose from one of the other choices in our Free Astronomy and Space Wallpaper collection. From a small step on the moon to the International Space Station, you'll find some incredible images to place on your computer desktop. Watch for new wallpapers coming soon.

You can also show your spooky space side by wearing or giving one of these great Ghost Nebula Gifts.

Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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