Gather ’round kids!
Todays creepy celestial photo comes from the dark outer reaches of space…
I bring you…
The Eerie Beauty of the “Black Widow” Pulsar!
In terms of sheer weirdness, pulsars  rank at or near the top of freaky phenomena found in our universe.
But this little number takes the cake. And she’s moving pretty hippity-skippity across the galaxy, too, at a clip of just about a million kilometers per hour. That’s getting up there, for sure.
The black widow effect is the result of a bow shock wave due to the pulsar’s high-speed. It is visible to optical telescopes, shown in this image as the greenish-yellow crescent shape. The pressure behind the bow shock creates a second shock wave that sweeps the cloud of high-energy particles back from the pulsar to form the cocoon, giving us the spooky dark hooded face of the Black Widow.
There you have it, boys and girls. Just when you thought science couldn’t get any weirder (between thumb-sized bats, ladybug zombies, kamikaze ants, the honeybee rapture and lord knows what else we’ll dig up over the next little while), here’s a little something to keep you up at nights thinking of the enormous faceless spectre looking down at us from the heavens.
Sleep well. And you’re welcome!