The Witch Head Nebula

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble …. maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigel’s starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebula’s color is caused not only by the star’s intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth’s daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earth’s atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. via NASA

Analysis: China Faces Mounting Pressure Over Maritime Claims by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Pressure on China over its claims to most of the strategic South China Sea went up a couple of notches this week. First, the U.S. sent a warship in its most direct challenge yet to Beijing’s artificial island building. Then over Chinese objections,…

Published: October 30, 2015 at 08:15PM

from NYT U.S.

Greece Says 22 Die in Migrant Boat Sinkings in Aegean Sea by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


At least 22 people drowned in two new shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea Friday as thousands of Middle Eastern refugees and economic migrants sought to reach the Greek islands in rough seas, while the death toll over the past three days has reached nearly…

Published: October 29, 2015 at 10:48PM

from NYT World