Is this a seahorse or something more sinister in the sky? – Ars Technica

Zoom in / A stunning view of Barnard Nebula 150.

Tom Carrico

Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’ll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It’s November 15, and today’s photo is a Rorschach test.

The image shows the Dark Barnard Nebula 150, which is dark in the sense that the nebula’s thick molecular clouds block light coming from behind it toward Earth. The nebula is located about 1,200 light-years from Earth and can be seen in the constellation Cepheus.

I say it’s a Rorschach test because different people see different things. For example, if you rotate the image 90 degrees counterclockwise, the nebula will look a lot like a seahorse, and indeed, the object is also referred to as the Seahorse Nebula by astronomers.

However, the photographer behind today’s photo, Tom Carrico, has a different explanation. “I showed it that way because I watched too many sci-fi movies,” Carrico told me. “The dark rope-like nebula looks like a leash attached to a human. It is clearly an alien warning.”

clearly.

Remarkably, Carrico took this image using the RedCat 51 telescope, which has a diameter of just 2 inches (5 cm). He took a total of 78 exposures (6.5 hours total). He says it helped notice the nebulae from very dark skies in eastern Oregon in July.

source: Tom Carrico.

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