Features in the Gallery: Worms in Space

This image from 2008-12-06 15:57:53

DSS image

shows a very interesting feature that looks like a giant worm squirming amongst the stars. In fact it’s actually a tiny hair that got on the photographic plate sometime in the process of taking, developing or scanning the image.

How can we tell that this isn’t Nobel-Prize-winning stuff? The obvious giveaway is how thin the feature is. The stars in the image are point sources blurred by optical limits, telescope jitter, and especially seeing. Any real astronomical source can be no sharper than they. Our worm is much thinner.

Hairs and dust show up occasionally on all of the surveys scanned from optical plates.

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2 Responses to Features in the Gallery: Worms in Space

  1. Pragmites says:

    I guessed as soon as i saw the image..

  2. Giacomo says:

    It’s quite funny that this even caused any controversy at all :) After all, what could it possibly be if it were out in deep space? The mind boggles! However, I enjoyed this post.

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