The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts
through southern skies,
a tantalizing target for binoculars in the constellation
Musca, The Fly.
The dusty cosmic cloud
is seen against rich starfields just south of the
Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross.
Stretching for about 3 degrees
this scene the Dark Doodad
seems punctuated at its southern tip (lower left) by
globular star cluster
Of course NGC 4372 roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy,
a background object some 20,000 light-years away and only
by chance along our line-of-sight to the Dark Doodad.
The Dark Doodad's well defined silhouette belongs to the
Musca molecular cloud,
but its better known alliterative moniker was first
coined by astro-imager and writer
Dennis di Cicco in 1986 while
observing comet Halley from the Australian outback.
The Dark Doodad is around 700 light-years distant
and over 30 light-years long.
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