Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical.
Since the fifth century BC,
has been celebrated as a
cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an
equinox (equal day / equal night) and a
(minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere).
modern calendar, however, the real
cross-quarter day will occur next week.
Another cross-quarter day is
Halloween's modern celebration retains
in dressing to scare away the spirits of the dead.
Perhaps a fitting tribute to this ancient holiday is this view of the
Head Nebula taken with the
Hubble Space Telescope.
Similar to the icon of a
NGC 2080 is actually a
star forming region in the
Large Magellanic Cloud,
a satellite galaxy of our own
Milky Way Galaxy.
The Ghost Head Nebula spans about 50
light-years and is shown in representative colors.
(Observatoire de Paris) et al.,