Deep astrophoto of LDN 673

August 5, 2014 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
LDN 673, a molecular cloud complex in the constellation Aquila. Credit: Callum Hayton.

What a stunning view of this dark region of space! This image, by astrophotographer Callum Hayton shows LDN 673, a molecular cloud complex that lies in the constellation Aquila. This region is massive—around 67 trillion kilometers (42 trillion miles across), and it is between 300-600 light years from Earth. Observers in the northern hemisphere can find this region in the summer skies near the bright star Altair and the Summer Triangle.

Because the cloud lies on the , the dark dust is back-lit by millions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. This dusty cloud likely contains enough raw material to form hundreds of thousands of stars. Hayton explained on Flickr how the dust gets "eroded" away by stellar formation:

"When some of these clouds reach a certain mass they begin to collapse and fragment creating protostars," Hayton wrote. "As the temperature and pressure at the centre of the protostar rises, sometimes it becomes so great that nuclear fusion begins and a star is born. In this image you can see where at least two young stars have eroded the dust around them and are now above the clouds casting light down on to the dust below."

Gorgeous!

Explore further: Today in the Milky Way: Cloudy skies

Related Stories

Today in the Milky Way: Cloudy skies

July 2, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Adam Block of the UA's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter brings us a rare view of the clouds wafting through our Milky Way in this Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Light from the darkness

January 16, 2013

(Phys.org)—An evocative new image from ESO shows a dark cloud where new stars are forming, along with a cluster of brilliant stars that have already emerged from their dusty stellar nursery. The new picture was taken with ...

Atacama Pathfinder Experiment: Setting the dark on fire

January 23, 2013

(Phys.org)—A new image from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile shows a beautiful view of clouds of cosmic dust in the region of Orion. While these dense interstellar clouds seem dark and obscured ...

Embracing Orion

August 26, 2013

(Phys.org) —This new view of the Orion A star-formation cloud from ESA's Herschel space observatory shows the turbulent region of space that hugs the famous Orion Nebula.

The 'Serpent' star-forming cloud hatches new stars

May 30, 2014

(Phys.org) —Stars that are just beginning to coalesce out of cool swaths of dust and gas are showcased in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Infrared light has been ...

Image: Our flocculent neighbour, the spiral galaxy M33

July 28, 2014

The spiral galaxy M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is one of our closest cosmic neighbours, just three million light-years away. Home to some forty billion stars, it is the third largest in the Local Group of galaxies ...

Recommended for you

Comet Lovejoy shows asymmetric behavior at perihelion

July 26, 2016

(Phys.org)—Indian astronomers have recently conducted spectrographic observations of long-period Comet Lovejoy to study its gas emission. They found that this comet showcases an asymmetric behavior at perihelion and an ...

The case of the missing craters

July 26, 2016

When NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived to orbit the dwarf planet Ceres in March 2015, mission scientists expected to find a heavily cratered body generally resembling the protoplanet Vesta, Dawn's previous port of call.

NASA team begins testing of a new-fangled optic

July 26, 2016

It's an age-old astronomical truth: To resolve smaller and smaller physical details of distant celestial objects, scientists need larger and larger light-collecting mirrors. This challenge is not easily overcome given the ...

Digging deeper into Mars

July 25, 2016

Water is the key to life on Earth. Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of life on Mars by investigating evidence of water in the planet's soil. Previous observations of soil observed along crater slopes on Mars showed ...

NASA to map the surface of an asteroid

July 25, 2016

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch September 2016 and travel to a near-Earth asteroid known as Bennu to harvest a sample of surface material and return it to Earth for study. The science team will be looking for something ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.