An amazing photo of a nebula in the universe, shaped very much like a bat. This nebula LDN 43 is defined as “a giant cloud of gas or dust in interstellar space“ , nicknamed the “cosmic bat“ by NASA and others.
The photo went viral after astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted it from his Twitter account. The original image was posted on October 31, 2022 in the Astronomy Image of the Day (APOD) section of the NASA website. This image shows a very bat-like figure, it has wings, as well as a mouth, eyes, nose, ears, and tail. This nebula is also known as the “Star Nursery”.
Geographical differences bring cultural differences. But as long as we go beyond the limits of difference, we can see the diversity of civilizations and the wonders that man has created on this planet. For example, the bat in traditional Eastern cultures (China, Vietnam, etc.) is a symbol of “blessing”, but in Western culture it is a symbol of a scary vampire, a symbol of the good. died. So the symbolic meaning of death and the true meaning of life can also be reflected in the largest “bat” in the galaxy – the LDN 43 nebula.
LDN 43 in the constellation Ophiuchus is about 1,400 light-years from Earth, and its shape resembles a giant bat flying towards Earth. The main body of the “bat” is a molecular cloud dense enough to block the light of stars. It blocks stars in the background, as well as dim light from the neighboring reflection nebula LBN 7.
Although bats symbolize death in Western culture, this giant “bat” with a wingspan of 12 light-years is actually fertile ground for life. A large number of stellar embryos are produced in it, and the brightness in the central part of the image comes from the gas nodes where new stars have just been born. It is the young stars deep in the nebula that depict this giant “cosmic bat” so vividly. Therefore, LDN 43 is one of the important targets for astronomers to study star formation.