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Cosmic Dark Knight Rises in Hubble's “Bat Wing” Image

Stand aside, Batman – your flat terminal has nothing on a big "flat shadow", the Hubble Space Telescope was discovered…

Stand aside, Batman – your flat terminal has nothing on a big “flat shadow”, the Hubble Space Telescope was discovered in a distant gas cloud.

Just in time for Halloween, the new image shows a “striking shadow” in Serpens Nebula, which is about 1300 light years from the ground, officials of the European Space Agency said in a statement. Astronomers nicknamed this bat shadow, because it looks good as a bat with extended wings.

You can see the two black lines that extend from either side of a star called HBC 672, which illuminates the surrounding gas clouds (or nebulae). While the wings of the flutter are a spooky sight, it is a natural explanation for them: They arise because the HBC 672 is surrounded by a slab of material that one day could become planets.

The striking “flat shadow” cast by the young star HBC 672 can be seen in this Hubble telescope image of a part of the Serpent Nebula.

Credit: NASA / ESA / StSCi

“By sticking to the star, the disc creates an impressive shadow, much larger than the disk – about 200 times our own solar system’s diameter,” wrote ESA officials. “The shade of the disc is similar to that produced by a cylindrical lampshade. The light emits from the top and bottom of the shadow, but its circumference is dark shapes of shadow shape.”

The largest part of the shadow is jet-black, but astronomers see some color changes along the edges. This helps researchers learn more about the size and composition of the dust granules, ESA officials add. The shadow function is quite striking, but it’s only the angle that makes it look unusual; These shadows are actually very common about young stars.

A view of the serpentian belly from the HAWK-I instrument at the European Southern Observatory’s very large telescope in Chile. The filter used here covers wavelengths similar to those Hubble can see.

Credit: ESO

“The entire Serpensnebeln, of which the image shows only a small part, can host several of these shadow projections. Hundreds of young stars, many of which may also be in the process of forming planets on a protoplanetic disk , “added ESA.

If you use your flutter vision, you can even see another flared shadow in the same image, in the upper left corner. Perhaps the shadows are not scary enough to scare Gotham, but they are nice signals that show how our solar system used to look. Researchers usually study protoplanetary discs to learn more about our solar system’s history.

A field-based widescreen view of Serpens Nebula and surroundings from Digitalized Sky Survey.

Credit: NASA / ESA / Digitized Sky Survey 2 (Confirmation: Davide De Martin)

Hubble has hosted other ghost attractions in the past. Just check out this gallery of nebulas for some examples.

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