The Coyote Head Nebula
When searching for the nicest nebulae in the sky it’s nice when your friends help you out. This striking star formation region, mapped in infrared light by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, was recently spotted by one of Spitzer’s Twitter followers searching through the GLIMPSE360 panorama of our Milky Way galaxy.
One of multitudes of star-forming nebulas scattered across the sky, this area had been a bit of a “dirty” secret, tucked away behind a veil of dust that blocks our view in visible light. That obscuring veil fades away under Spitzer’s infrared gaze revealing a collection of young stars bursting out of the dusty gas clouds in which they formed. Astronomers identify this area only by a collection of catalog numbers like IRAS 15541-5349.
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Clathrus archeri, commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn or Devil’s Fingers, is a type of fungus that is native to Australia and Tasmania. It begins its life in a sub-erumpent egg, then erupts into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top, which eventually unfold to reveal the spore-containing gleba. In its mature stage, it gives off a foul odor, hence its classification in the stinkhorn family, or the Phallaceae. The smelly spores attract flies and other insects, which contribute to the dispersal process.
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Damon Albarn & Friends/The World Music Police,