Astrophoto: Spooky Fingers Reach Out into Space

by Nancy Atkinson on October 30, 2012

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Dark shadows and dust in VdB 4. Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

It’s the Case of the Phantom Phalanges! Spooky fingers reach up from the dark realms of space in this new image from Adam Block of the Mount Lemmon Sky Center. The image shows a ghostly view of VdB 4, which is a reflection nebula associated with a young open star cluster NGC 225, often called the Sailboat Cluster. Click here to see the entire field of view — which includes a dark area that looks like a spooky Halloween spider. This image was taken in October, 2012 with the 32-inch Schulman Telescope (RCOS) at Mount Lemmon, using a SBIG STX16803 CCD Camera. Thanks to Adam Block for sharing this eerie image!

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About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

SJStar October 30, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Try this. Turn the image 180° it looks like the creature getting out of the black lagoon, with its front flippers grasping the darkness, and it left back leg over the side!

The larger image, right-side up, finds the lower black nebulosity looking like a dark gliding seagull!

JonHanford October 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I always liked the spooky appearance of another van den Bergh nebula, vdB 141, nicknamed the Ghost Nebula in the NOAO gallery: http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/images/d7/vdb141-2000.jpg

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