Image of the Day: Hubble telescope spies space ghost

No, not that kind of space ghost. Say hello to the IRAS 05437+2502 nebula, which I'm just going to call Ira for the rest of this post. It doesn't just look spooky, either — we have no idea what's making it glow like this.

Ira was actually discovered back in 1983 by astronomers using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (or IRAS). As far as nebulae go, Ira is pretty small. See that upside-down glowing "V" toward the top of its wispy form? That's the weird shiny bit we can't explain.

PopSci sheds some light on one possible theory:

One hypothesis suggests a massive star that since accelerated to a high velocity and departed the nebula spawned the glowing matter long ago, though there's no evidence to speak of to confirm or deny that theory.

Sounds as plausible as a space ghost to us! See Ira in all its glory here.

Space, via PopSci