Riddle me this…
Why would ANYONE name a head-shaped, glowing nebula in the sky:
A “Clownface Nebula”.
The idiot that named it this HAS to know what kind of nightmares this will inspire:
[via io9] Behold the terrifyingly named Clownface Nebula ~Alasdair Wilkins
In 1797, legendary astronomer William Herschel first caught sight of this object and declared it “a very remarkable phenomenon.” Although it’s sometimes called the Clownface Nebula, it’s probably better known as the Eskimo Nebula, because it resembles (however vaguely) a person’s face inside a parka hood.
Located about 3,000 light-years away, it only measures about a third of a light-year across. It’s what’s known as a planetary nebula, the remnant of the gas ejected by a dying star. This particular image is drawn from two earlier photos taken in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, which creates a view far more detailed and complex than any we could hope to see with our puny eyes, what with not being able to see anything unless it’s in the visible spectrum (the clue really is in the name). Here’s some more from NASA:
In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Eskimo Nebula in visible light, while the nebula was imaged in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2007. The above combined visible-X ray image, with X-rays emitted by central hot gas and shown in pink, was released last week. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.
And it will inspire nightmares for ONE very simple reason.
People. Do. Not. Like. Clowns.
They’re just creepy and nightmare inducing.
The Smithsonian has the whole horrible history right here (click link below for whole article) for you to see:
[via Neatorama]The History of Scary Clowns ~Miss Cellania
When a study in 2008 found that children, on average, do not like clowns, many people were surprised. The rest of us weren’t because we never liked clowns, either. Sometime over the past 50 years, clowns in popular culture moved from funny to downright horrific, which is indicative of how an audience sees them. Smithsonian looks at the history of clowns, and finds that depressing, creepy, and/or frightening clowns are really nothing new. The happy children’s clowns of the mid-20th century were somewhat of an anomaly, because clowns were never all sunshine and smiles, from court jesters to Grimaldi to Pagliacci to Emmett Kelly to John Wayne Gacy.
Even as Bozo was cavorting on sets across America, a more sinister clown was plying his craft across the Midwest. John Wayne Gacy’s public face was a friendly, hard-working guy; he was also a registered clown who entertained at community events under the name Pogo. But between 1972 and 1978, he sexually assaulted and killed more than 35 young men in the Chicago area. “You know… clowns can get away with murder,” he told investigating officers, before his arrest.
Gacy didn’t get away with it—he was found guilty of 33 counts of murder and was executed in 1994. But he’d become identified as the “Killer Clown,” a handy sobriquet for newspaper reports that hinged on the unexpectedness of his killing. And bizarrely, Gacy seemed to revel in his clown persona: While in prison, he began painting; many of his paintings were of clowns, some self-portraits of him as Pogo. What was particularly terrifying was that Gacy, a man who’d already been convicted of a sexual assault on a teenage boy in 1968, was given access to children in his guise as an innocuous clown. This fueled America’s already growing fears of “stranger danger” and sexual predation on children, and made clowns a real object of suspicion.
After a real life killer clown shocked America, representations of clowns took a decidedly terrifying turn.
Read a fascinating rundown of the history and psychology of scary clowns at Smithsonian. Link
Note to astronomers & ALL other scientists alike:
Is naming stuff after clowns really a good idea?
*shakes head sadly*
Stop naming crap after clowns…
NO ONE LIKES YOU DOING IT!!!!
So, please stop.