These are larger dust
than you will find under your bed.
rich star fields
and glowing hydrogen gas, these opaque clouds of
and gas are so large they might be able to form stars.
Their home is known as
a bright stellar nursery located about 5,900 light years away toward the
constellation of Centaurus.
The largest of these
first spotted by South African astronomer
A. D. Thackeray in 1950,
is likely two separate but overlapping clouds, each more than one
Along with other data, the
above representative color image from the
4-m Blanco telescope at
Chile indicates that
Thackeray's globules are fractured and churning as a result
of intense ultraviolet radiation from young, hot stars already
energizing and heating the bright
These and similar
dark globules known to be associated with other star
forming regions may ultimately be dissipated by their hostile environment --
like cosmic lumps of
butter in a hot frying pan.