Thackaray's globules

Thackaray's globules

Thackaray's globules. Image: Hubble Space Telescope.

Thackaray's globules are dark globules associated with the bright star-forming region IC 2944, which lies about 5,900 light-years away, in the constellation Centaurus. The largest of these globules, first spotted by South African astronomer A. D. Thackeray in 1950, is likely two separate but overlapping clouds, each nearly 1.4 light-years (50 arcseconds) along its longest dimension. Combined, the clouds contain about 15 solar masses of material. IC 2944, the surrounding HII region, is filled with gas and dust that is illuminated and heated by a loose cluster of O-type stars.