Learn about the Flying Bat and Squid Nebula – Ars Technica

Zoom in / The flying bat and squid nebula.

Ryan Jenner

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 October 27, and today’s image takes us 2,000 light-years from Earth. That’s quite far away, but it’s still in our little corner of the Milky Way, which stretches about 105,000 light-years end to end.

In this image, courtesy of Ryan Génier, the large, reddish object covering much of the painting is the Flying Bat Nebula. It’s basically a huge cloud of hydrogen gas. The Squid Nebula appears blue, indicating doubly ionized oxygen – which is when you ionize your oxygen once and then ionize it again just to be sure. (In all seriousness, this probably indicates a low-mass star nearing the end of its life.)

The Squid Nebula is a recent discovery, first discovered by French astrophotographer Nicolas Otters in 2011. Ginnier did a great job of detailing it in this image, taken from the backyard of his home in Kitchener, Ontario. “It took about 50 hours of total data but I trimmed it down to the best 37 hours before collecting and processing,” he told me. “My backyard is somewhat light-polluted (Burtle 7), which made it more difficult to capture.”

The result definitely seems worth the effort. Wishing everyone a happy weekend.

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source: Ryan Jenner

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