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A Gigantic Hole in Space -What Is It?

_334738_dark_globule300ESA’s Herschel infrared space telescope has made an unexpected discovery: a dark hole in space. The hole has provided astronomers with a surprising glimpse into the end of the star-forming process. A cloud of bright reflective gas known to astronomers as NGC 1999 sits next to a black patch of sky. For most of the 20th century, such black patches have been known to be dense clouds of dust and gas that block light from passing through.

When Herschel looked in its direction to study nearby young stars, the cloud continued to look black, which should not be the case. Herschel’s infrared eyes are designed to see into such clouds. Either the cloud was immensely dense or something was very unusual.

Investigating further using ground-based telescopes to confirm the discovery, astronomers found the same phenomena: this patch looks black not because it is a dense pocket of gas but because it is truly empty. Something has blown a hole right through the cloud. “No-one has ever seen a hole like this,” says Tom Megeath, of the University of Toledo, USA. “It’s as surprising as knowing you have worms tunnelling under your lawn, but finding one morning that they have created a huge, yawning pit.”

Stars are born in dense clouds of dust and gas that can now be studied in unprecedented detail with Herschel. Although jets and winds of gas have been seen coming from young stars in the past, it has always been a mystery exactly how a star uses these to blow away its surroundings and emerge from its birth cloud. Now, for the first time, Herschel may be seeing an unexpected step in this process.

The astronomers think that the hole must have been opened when the narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region punctured the sheet of dust and gas that forms NGC 1999. The powerful radiation from a nearby mature star may also have helped to clear the hole. Whatever the precise chain of events, it could be an important glimpse into the way newborn stars disperse their birth clouds.  

Casey Kazan via ESA 



You've posted this before

It's old news. Back to my original question: Why would a stellar explosion blast away stars behind the hole? If it exists, it would have to be more of a tunnel to the end of the universe than a hole.

How can there be a "tunnel to the end", when we are looking back at, essentially, ourselves? Can an earth-based observer look into the future? So far, it seems, no.

More specifically, if something blew out a star-forming cloud of matter there would, should, still be stars and galaxies behind it.

JCA has one point. the farther we look out into space, the farther we look back into time. so if the viewing equipment isn't malfunctioning, than this hole has been around a long time.

My guess?

Aliens from another Universe harvested the material in this region of space. I know it's far fetched but gimme something better.

I would like to know where this region is located in relation to the rest of the observable universe.

we know that forming stars have jets that blow away surrounding gas and solar sytem materials. Question: Is the hole actually in the nebula, or is it nearby in outer space? If in outer space is it less then a parsec away from the nebula?

we know that forming stars have jets that blow away surrounding gas and solar sytem materials. Question: Is the hole actually in the nebula, or is it nearby in outer space? If in outer space is it less then a parsec away from the nebula?

It looks more like dark cloud not a hole.

This is clearly a cloud not a hole. The picture being shown either is not the picture they are talking about in the article or they are wrong. Why are the stars at the edge of the could yellower and dimmer than other stars? It is because they are partialy obscured by clouds.

perhaps gigantic holes can form when a powerful vacuum inside the cloud suddenly pulls away gas because a star began fusion joining the main sequence and blows off surrounding gas? it appears dark because we are seeing inside the cloud where there is little light? that's my new theory

a flying creature made it on the lens.

i blame british peteroleum.


I was only being figurative when I described at as "a tunnel to the end of the universe" Obviously what I meant was "a tunnel to the end of the observable universe - 93 Blyr"

In any case, you make the assumption that the universe is closed - That is we looked far enough we'd eventually see the point from which were observing. There is no reason why we should assume this to be the case.

Cloudanum from pace peteroleum.

If we see it all black, does it mean that between us and the hole there is absolutely nothing either? Weird.

Maybe they finally found Barak Obama's ego?..
Just kidding..ha

I do not agree with the assumption that something exploded there, an explosion in space should expand in a circular equal manner in all directions and as we can see in the picture the contour is very irregular and the distance between opposites is quite high, what I think is that we are looking at some kind of 3D pathway of empty space but in a 2D picture it looks like a hole at one place, also look that the stars that are closer to the center are far dimmer than the others, maybe it is because they are farer away and the telescope cannot receive enough light to "see" them.

Holly smoke!

I'm quite amused on how you all respond to this thread as you were the creators of the universe and knew all about it.
You know what I see? A black spot. Black hole or cloud, it's a god damn black spot, and the beauty of it is basically, we know absolutely nothing about it.
Please, if you are going to make a point, do it theoretically.

NGC 1999:

you all are a bunch of idiots!!! why would you argue about something you truly know nothing about.... the only way to find out what it really is is to go there and look at it but since we cant and probably never will be able to who freaking cares!!! its black its not near us so just enjoy the fact its a mystery of the universe and leave it at that.

its just speculation, no need to start pointing fingers,

although i do agree with two of the upper posts, one that it is strange that there is nothing inbetween us and it, and two, where it is located in the observable universe

cause if its near the edge it might just be the end of the observable universe

if its not, its prbly just a bizarre cloud

Because the hole is in the cloud, it can't be a tunnel to another universe or way to see or travel over a vast distance in another dimension or else it would be a stable open wormhole. Such a structure would likely not be inside a nebula but a undetectable patch in outer space with confined edges where matter bends space time.

Its obvious... Its the tyranid hive fleet Kraken... We're doomed!!

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