Monday, September 12, 2022

Wispy Dark Clouds in Barnard 92 & 93 | ESO

Wispy Dark Clouds in Barnard 92 & 93 | ESO

The dark clouds in this image, taken from the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, almost resemble something supernatural, like the wispy trails of ghosts in the sky. However, there is no need to call the ghostbusters! These clouds, known as Barnard 92 (right) and Barnard 93 (left) are dark nebulae. They look pitch black because the dense gas and dust they contain block out the background light, creating these hazy ghostlike features.

These nebulae are stellar nurseries, where new stars are born out of the collapsing dense gas and dust. This whole region of space imaged here is actually part of a much larger stellar complex, called the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud (or Messier 24, catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764). This area is so rich in stars that it is clearly visible to the naked eye during dark nights in the constellation of Sagittarius.

This image was taken with an enormous 268 million pixel camera called OmegaCAM on the VLT Survey Telescope. OmegaCAM is designed for capturing wide fields like this image, where you could impressively fit four full Moons. This image is part of the VST Photometric Hα Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+), which has mapped diffuse nebulae as well as both young and evolved stars in our galaxy.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)/VPHAS+ team

Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Release Date: September 12, 2022

#NASA #ESO #Astronomy #Space #Science #DarkClouds #Nebulas #Nebulae #Barnard92 #Barnard93 #SmallSagittariusStarCloud #Messier24 #M24 #Sagittarius #Constellation #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Cosmos #Universe #VLTSurveyTelescope #ParanalObservatory #Chile #Europe #STEM #Education

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