Themight not be on broadcast TV this year, but you can look to the cosmos for your giant pumpkin Halloween fix. The Hubble Space Telescope spied a pair of galaxies that could pass as a space jack-o’-lantern.
Hubble — a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency — snapped a spooky view of two galaxies colliding, and it reminded NASA of the Peanuts pumpkin, so it earned the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.”
“‘Great’ is an understatement in this case because the galaxy pair spans 100,000 light-years,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday. “The ‘pumpkin’s’ glowing ‘eyes’ are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes.” NASA pointed out the smile-like formation of stars that curves underneath the pair.
The orange-ish color comes from red stars. The galaxies, officially named NGC 2292 and NGC 2293, are still in the process of their slo-mo collision. The duo may end up forming a giant spiral galaxy.
The galaxies are located in the Canis Major constellation at a distance of 120 million light-years away from us.
While the Greater Pumpkin nickname is a good fit, fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas might notice a strong resemblance to another famous Halloween character: Jack Skellington.