The Milky Way Project Talk

spotting dark nebulae

  • gwolfchase by gwolfchase scientist

    I understand the confusion about spotting dark nebulae. Here are some "rules of thumb" for spotting them:
    (1) Dark nebulae are best seen against the background of very bright regions -- there is less ambiguity here, and these are the regions we are most interested in highlighting!
    (2) Dark nebulae often (but not always) contain bright point-like (compact) red sources that are typically due to very young stars that are embedded within the dark nebulae.
    (3) There are typically fewer stars seen in the direction of dark nebulae than in adjacent regions, however this tends to be harder to spot!

    And yes, as far as the question about "Bok Globules", they show show up as dark nebulae as well. These tend to be much more compact that typical dark nebulae, most of which are associated with the earliest stages in the formation of massive stars and star clusters. Bok Globules, on the other hand, are associated with more isolated, less massive, nebulae that produce one or a few lower-mass stars.

    Hope this helps a bit -- thanks for your efforts and patience! --- Grace


  • australis777 by australis777

    Hi Grace - thanks for the tips - I was keen to see if higher definition images were on offer to aid in the quest for these remarkable objects. Peter Weiske.