Something Out There Is Watching You
Ssc2020 17a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Observation • October 28th, 2020 • ssc2020-17a


Do you ever look up at the night sky and feel like someone, or something, may be looking back at you? This Halloween image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope may convince you that you are right. Dont expect to see these cosmic eyes without a face if you search the night sky with your own binoculars or telescopethey are completely cloaked from view in visible light. They can only be found by telescopes, like Spitzer, that can see infrared light.

Lurking in the constellation of Aquila (Latin for eagle), these celestial eyeballs are actually vast bubbles of dust and gas associated with the formation of new stars. Spitzer found that our Milky Way is full of these dusty bubbles. Contributions from nearly 80,000 citizen scientists have helped catalog 2,600 such objects for the Milky Way Project. The two shown here have the lengthy designations MWP1G043734+001170 and MWP1G043775+000606, or N89 and N90 for short.

However, very few of these star-forming bubbles give the creepy impression that they are staring back at you.

Learn more about these bubbly stellar nurseries in this NASA/JPL news release:

What kind of otherworldly creature do you think would be hiding behind this ghostly gaze? Show the world by drawing your own galactic ghoul using our web tool. Take a screen capture and share your creations on social media using the hashtag #NASAHalloween.

About the Object

Nebula > Type > Star Formation
Nebula > Type > Interstellar Medium

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 24.0 µm Spitzer MIPS


Position ()
RA =19h 11m 3.1s
Dec = 9° 39' 30.0"
Field of View
21.7 x 21.7 arcminutes
North is 349.2° left of vertical