2020年11月22日

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Dark Molecular Cloud Barnard 68
Image Credit:
FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO

Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured here. That no stars are visible in the center indicates that Barnard 68 is relatively nearby, with measurements placing it about 500 light-years away and half a light-year across. It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but it is known that these clouds are themselves likely places for new stars to form. In fact, Barnard 68 itself has been found likely to collapse and form a new star system. It is possible to look right through the cloud in infrared light.

Tomorrow’s picture: from jupiter


分子云巴纳德68
影像提供:
FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO

说明: 恒星都上那儿去了?这种以往认为是天空的结构,现在天文学家知道它是暗分子。在这个分子云内,高密度的尘埃和分子气体几乎完全吸收了背景恒星所发出的可见光。这类星云诡异幽暗的境,更让分子云内部成为宇宙最寒冷和最孤寂的区域。上面这张照片里,位在蛇夫座方向巴纳德68,是最著名的暗星云之一。这团星云的中心完全看不到恒星,显示它离我们不远,而量测也指出巴纳德68离我们约5百光年远,宽约半光年。像巴纳德68这种分子云是如何形成的,目前还不清楚,但确知的是,它们是新恒星的可能诞生地。而研究也指出,巴纳德68可能会塌缩形成新恒星系统。在红外光波段可以透视这个星云。

明日的图片: from jupiter

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