This image shows the Cosmic Bat Nebula.
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Social media users have widely shared an image that allegedly shows a nebula that looks like a bat, called the Cosmic Bat Nebula.
Misbar investigated the circulating claim and found it to be true. The image was posted by a NASA affiliated website.
The shape of the nebula has led some people to question whether the image is real or fabricated.
The Cosmic Bat Nebula
The photo was shared by “Astronomy Picture of the Day – NASA” on October 31, 2022 with the following description:
“What is the most spook-tacular nebula in the galaxy? One contender is LDN 43, which bears an astonishing resemblance to a vast cosmic bat flying amongst the stars on a dark Halloween night. Located about 1400 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus, this molecular cloud is dense enough to block light not only from background stars, but from wisps of gas lit up by the nearby reflection nebula LBN 7. Far from being a harbinger of death, this 12-light year-long filament of gas and dust is actually a stellar nursery. Glowing with eerie light, the bat is lit up from inside by dense gaseous knots that have just formed young stars.”
ABC 7 Chicago also reported on the image released by NASA.
What is a Nebula?
According to NASA, “a nebula is a giant cloud of dust and gas in space.” While some nebulae originate from the gas and dust discharged by the explosion of a dying star, such as a supernova, other nebulae are areas where new stars begin to form.
The Most Famous Nebulae
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center, four nebulae are famous for their mesmerizing beauty:
The Eagle Nebula, which contained the pillars of creation, as can be seen below.
Photo Description: Messier 16, the Eagle Nebula, (NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team).
The Omega Nebula, which can be seen below.
Photo Description: Messier 17, the Omega Nebula, (Messier Objects).
The Trifid Nebula, which can be seen below.
The Lagoon Nebula, which can be seen below.
Photo Description: Messier 8, The Lagoon Nebula (NASA).