The scientists at NASA love to find Halloween parallels out in space. This year, the Hubble Space Telescope gives us an eerie image of the Crab Nebula with a interstellar version of Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" beating at its center.
A dead neutron star lies inside the glowing wisps of the nebula. NASA notes the star has "the same mass as the sun but is squeezed into an ultra-dense sphere that is only a few miles across and 100 billion times stronger than steel." This image, released on Thursday, comes from observations made in 2012, but the green tint was added to give it a Halloween feel.
The neutron star spins rapidly and "produces a deadly magnetic field that generates an electrifying 1 trillion volts." It's a real-life horror story unfolding at the heart of a nebula. NASA evokes the imagery of Poe's short story about a murderer undone by the sound of his victim's heart.
The Crab Nebula resides 6,500 light-years away in the Taurus constellation, but can be seen by Earth-bound telescopes. Perhaps, if it's really quiet on a dark, dark night, you can hear the beating of its hideous heart...louder! louder! louder!