Lynds Dark Nebula – the nursery of future stars


The black shape is Lynds Dark Nebula 483.
European Southern Observatory

The dark shape in the field of stars is a cloud of gas and dust called LDN 483, for Lynds Dark Nebula 483, situated 700 light years away in the constellation Serpens (The Serpent). Clouds such as these are the birthplaces of future stars.

The image was recently taken by the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

"Astronomers studying star formation in LDN 483 have discovered some of the youngest observable kinds of baby stars buried in LDN 483's shrouded interior," ESO officials said in a statement. "These gestating stars can be thought of as still being in the womb, having not yet been born as complete, albeit immature stars."

The Lynds Dark Nebulae are named after US astronomer Beverly Turner Lynds who compiled and published a survey of dark nebulae in 1960 – the Lynds Dark Nebula catalogue.

"As more and more stars emerge from the inky depths of LDN 483, the dark nebula will disperse and further lose its opacity," ESO officials wrote. "The missing background stars that are currently hidden will then come into view – but only after the passage of millions of years, and they will be outshone by the bright young-born stars in the cloud."

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