Astronomy Picture of the Day

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

December 29, 1996
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Dark Bok Globules in IC 2944
Credit and Copyright: David Malin, Anglo Australian Observartory

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 2944.

Tomorrow's picture: X-Ray Earth

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