Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 6, 1995
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Dark Bok Globules in IC 2944
Credit: Anglo-Australian Telescope photograph by David Malin
Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope Board

Explanation: The dark spots in the above picture are not photographic defects but an unusual type of interstellar cloud known as a Bok globule. Bok globules, named after astronomer Bart Bok who studied them extensively, are small dark clouds made of gas and dust that are typically condensing to form a star or stars. These Bok globules are found in front of a glowing H II region known as IC 2499.

Tomorrow's picture: Apollo 12's Lunar Module Descends

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
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