Thackeray's globules in IC 2944

Strangely glowing dark clouds float serenely in this remarkable and beautiful image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. These dense, opaque dust clouds - known as 'globules' - are silhouetted against nearby bright stars in the busy star-forming region, IC 2944.

Astronomer A.D. Thackeray first spied the globules in IC 2944 in 1950. Globules like these have been known since Dutch-American astronomer Bart Bok first drew attention to such objects in 1947.

But astronomers still know very little about their origin and nature, except that they are generally associated with areas of star formation, called 'HII regions' due to the presence of hydrogen gas. IC 2944 is filled with gas and dust that is illuminated and heated by a loose cluster of massive stars. These stars are much hotter and much more massive than our Sun.

Credit:

NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA press release
Id:opo0201a
Type:Observation
Release date:3 January 2002, 06:00
Size:1480 x 1498 px

About the Object

Name:IC 2944, Thackeray's Globules
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
Milky Way : Nebula : Appearance : Dark : Bok Globule
Distance:6500 light years
Constellation:Centaurus
Category:Nebulae

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Coordinates

Position (RA):11 38 22.29
Position (Dec):-63° 20' 37.14"
Field of view:2.45 x 2.49 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 75.7° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
439 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
R
675 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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