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#935273 10/19/21 12:22 PM
Joined: May 2010
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Halloween falls midway between an equinox and a solstice. In the ancient Celtic world it was the new year's eve and start of winter - time to prepare for survival in the darkening days. But also a time when the boundary between our world and the otherworld weakened - who knew what might cross it? What are the remnants of this holiday?

Halloween


Mona Evans
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Thousands of years ago a comet broke up. A remnant of it still visits Earth, adding to the debris stream that fuels the annual Taurid meteor shower. The shower peaks near Halloween and may produce brilliant meteors – its nickname is 'Halloween Fireballs'. It seems to be beautiful and harmless, but is there something deadly in the Beta Taurids?

Taurids - Halloween Fireballs


Mona Evans
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Autumn equinox and autumn sky, discoveries and discoverers, an ancient festival that marked the transition from the light to darkness. Can you identify them?

Autumn Equinox to Halloween – Quiz
.


Mona Evans
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Join me - if you dare! - on a Halloween astronomical tour. See a cosmic witch and cosmic ghosts, spiders and snakes, and a fiery skull. But you don't really have to be afraid. It's a virtual tour and all these things are interesting astronomical objects and a very long way away.

Cosmic Halloween Tour


Mona Evans
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A
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what beautiful photos. Nature is exquisite.

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Astronomers often use colorful language for cosmic objects. But unlike the ghosts, ghouls and vampires in horror stories, the cosmic ones aren't scary late at night. Here are stories of the birth, evolution and death of stars, a blinking demon, and a star that, at Halloween, seems like the Sun's ghost.

Cosmic Ghosts Ghouls and Vampires
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Mona Evans
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The links to the amazing photos. Thanks, Mona.

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Have a look at The Bat Nebula, photographed by Howard Trottier.

Do you see the bat? It haunts this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus), NGC 6995, known informally as the Bat Nebula, spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon. That puts it at 1,400 light-years from planet Earth. Emission from hydrogen atoms is shown in red with strong emission from oxygen atoms shown in hues of blue. Of course, in the western part of the Veil lies another seasonal apparition: the Witch's Broom Nebula.

[Explanation by Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)]


Mona Evans
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