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File:Bok globules in IC2944.jpg

Description Strangely glowing dark clouds float serenely in this remarkable and beautiful image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. These dense, opaque dust clouds — known as globules — are silhouetted against nearby bright stars in the busy star-forming region, IC 2944.

Astronomer A.D. Thackeray first spied the globules in IC 2944 in 1950. Globules like these have been known since Dutch-American astronomer Bart Bok first drew attention to such objects in 1947.

But astronomers still know very little about their origin and nature, except that they are generally associated with areas of star formation, called HII regions due to the presence of hydrogen gas. IC 2944 is filled with gas and dust that is illuminated and heated by a loose cluster of massive stars. These stars are much hotter and much more massive than our Sun.
Date 2002-01-03 (data acquired in 1999-02 and 2001-02)
Source ( TIFF image)
Author NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
( Reusing this file)
Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA and ESA. NASA Hubble material (and ESA Hubble material prior to 2009) is copyright-free and may be freely used as in the public domain without fee, on the condition that only NASA, STScI, and/or ESA is credited as the source of the material. This license does not apply if ESA material created after 2008 or source material from other organizations is in use.
The material was created for NASA by Space Telescope Science Institute under Contract NAS5-26555, or for ESA by the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre. Copyright statement at or 2008 copyright statement at
For material created by the European Space Agency on the site since 2009, use the {{ ESA-Hubble}} tag.
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