ESO Presents : “A Drop of Ink in a Luminous Sky”

Barnard 86Credit :  ESO

Barnard 86
Credit : ESO

After a week  which began with a North Korean nuclear test and ended with a meteor strike over the skies of Russia which NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory now estimates released nearly 500 kilotons of energy,  followed by a near miss with a much larger asteroid why not start off a new week with something a little less ominous,  perhaps another stunning image from the European Southern Observatory which suggests just how full of potential for life the universe actually is?

This image, which was taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at La Silla, captures a seemingly odd shaped zone of empty space set against the brilliantly illuminated background of the one of the densest parts of our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius. The black zone is actually Barnard 86, a small nebula called a Bok globule which is masking the equally dense field of stars behind it.

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