Dark clouds in Aquila
Part of a dark expanse that splits the crowded plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the Aquila Rift arcs through the northern hemisphere's summer skies near bright star Altair and the Summer Triangle. In silhouette against the Milky Way's faint starlight, its dusty molecular clouds contain raw material to form hundreds of thousands of stars. This telescopic close-up looks toward the region at a fragmented Aquila dark cloud complex that stretches across a field of view slightly wider than the full moon. The dark clouds in Aquila are estimated to be some 600 light-years away. At that distance, this field of view spans about 7 light-years.
[Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona]
Astronomy Picture of the Day 2012-06-29