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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snaps spooky image of a dying star

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope snaps spooky image of a dying star

The Hubble Space Telescope is sending some seriously spooky Halloween vibes out into the universe with an eerie image of dying star CW Leonis. The star looks like a cosmic cobweb, though there’s a very grounded science explanation for its impression. In keeping with the season, NASA likened the star to a hypnotizing vortex, a peek into a witch’s cauldron and a giant space-spider web.  

CW Leonis is what’s distinguished as a “carbon star.” “The orange-red ‘cobwebs’ are dusty clouds of sooty carbon engulfing the dying star,” the European Space Agency said in a statement on Thursday. “They were created from the outer layers of CW Leonis beings thrown out into the inky black void.”  Hubble is a joint project of NASA and ESA.  

CW Leonis is located in 400 light-years from Earth, making it our closest carbon star. Hubble has witnessed causes in the material around the star as seen in an absorbing view of telescope observations between 2001 and 2016.

The causes of the carbon star’s shifts in brightness over a relatively peevish span of time is still under investigation. “Astronomers speculate that gaps in the dust shrouding CW Leonis may give beams of starlight to pierce through and illuminate dust, like searchlight beacons throughout a cloudy sky,” ESA said.

Hubble’s vision is a snide companion for a Spitzer Space Telescope view of a Godzilla-like nebula that also came out this week. These celestial visual treats are a enjoyable way to mark Halloween.