Thackeray-globules

Stars and Globules in the Running Chicken Nebula

(via APOD; Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh )

The eggs from this gigantic chicken may form into stars. The featured emission nebula, shown in scientifically assigned colors, is cataloged as IC 2944 but known as the Running Chicken Nebula for the shape of its greater appearance. Seen toward the top of the image are small, dark molecular clouds rich in obscuring cosmic dust. Called Thackeray’s Globules for their discoverer, these “eggs” are potential sites for the gravitational condensation of new stars, although their fates are uncertain as they are also being rapidly eroded away by the intense radiation from nearby young stars. Together with patchy glowing gas and complex regions of reflecting dust, these massive and energetic stars form the open cluster Collinder 249. This gorgeous skyscape spans about 60 light-years at the nebula’s estimated 6,000 light-year distance.

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Stars in a Pink Haze - A Stellar Nursery

Here, within the stellar nursery IC 2944, we see a group of thick clouds of dust known as the Thackeray globules (a more specific Bok Globule) silhouetted against the pale pink glowing gas of the nebula. These globules are under fierce bombardment from the ultraviolet radiation from nearby hot young stars within the surrounding emission-type nebula. They are both being eroded away and also fragmenting, rather like lumps of butter dropped onto a hot frying pan. Due to this process, it is likely that Thackeray’s globules will be destroyed before they can collapse and form new stars.

Credit: ESO

p.s. I’m trying a new thing. I’m going to do some inline links to extra sources, let me know how you like it!

(ESO via Wired Science)  This intriguing new view of a spectacular stellar nursery IC 2944 is being released to celebrate a milestone: 15 years of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. This image also shows a group of thick clouds of dust known as the Thackeray globules silhouetted against the pale pink glowing gas of the nebula. These globules are under fierce bombardment from the ultraviolet radiation from nearby hot young stars. They are both being eroded away and also fragmenting, rather like lumps of butter dropped onto a hot frying pan. It is likely that Thackeray’s globules will be destroyed before they can collapse and form new stars.