The Witch’s Head Nebula “screaming” at the supergiant star Rigel

(ORDO NEWS) — The universe is a place of endless inspiration, unsolved riddles and imagination training. It is imagination that is why the Witch’s Head Nebula is the subject of intense scrutiny by some amateur and professional astronomers.

Looking at the image, one can almost hear how the angry Witch “shouts” at the supergiant blue-white star Rigel, the light and powerful wind of which illuminates and at the same time deforms the “Witch’s face”.

The dominant color of the nebula is dark blue, as the special concentration of interstellar dust contained in a cloud of gas and dust reflects blue more effectively than any other color.

Brief parameters of the nebula:

  • Type: reflection nebula – a gas and dust cloud illuminated by the star Rigel;
  • Constellation: Eridanus
  • Distance to Solar System: about 1000 light years
  • Magnitude (numerical characteristic of brightness): 13 (the Sun has 4.83);
  • Other names: IC 2118, Cederblad 41

The Witch’s Head is a rather faint nebula, but radio observations have revealed significant emissions of carbon monoxide in some areas, which suggests that the regions of active star formation are located only deep within the structure of the nebula.


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