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Mosaic of NGC 4372, NGC 4833 and a dark cloud in the Constellation Musca (Fly)

Description of object:

The "Dark Doodad" nebula is a dark nebula near the globular cluster NGC 4372 in the constellation Fly (Musca). "Dark Doodad" can best be translated into the German language as "Das dunkel Ding". It is part of the large Musca molecular cloud, a region consisting of dense gas and dust. At a distance of only 700 light-years, it is one of the closest star-forming regions to the solar system. The apparent length of the cloud is 3 degrees, which is roughly equivalent to 30 light-years.

The nebula was cataloged in 1977 by Aage Sandqvist, an astronomer at the Stockholm Observatory. The name "Dark Doodad" comes from US amateur astronomer and Sky&Telescope editor Dennis di Cicco. Sandqvist created a list of 95 dark nebulae of the southern sky according to the ESO B Atlas. In the SIMBAD database the nebula can also be found under the designation Sandqvist +149. Further information here.

NGC 4833 is a beautiful globular cluster, classified as type VIII, with a respectable apparent diameter of 14 arcminutes. Its distance to the solar system is given as 22.000 light years and the age of the stars is estimated at 12.5 billion years.

NGC 4833 was discovered in 1751 by N. L. de Lacaille. We have also taken a longer focal length image of NGC 4833. You can see the image here.

NGC 4372 - also a globular cluster - is even larger with its apparent diameter of nearly 20 arcminutes. It is classified as type XII and has a distance of nearly 19.000 light years to the solar system. NGC 4372 was discovered by James Dunlop on April 30, 1826.

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