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This Is Not Your Average 'Black Hole

Something is obviously going on in this image. There's a stark difference between the starry backdrop and the gaping hole in the center.

While you may be quick to define this as a black hole -- the literal definition of which would be correct -- it's not a black hole in the "sucks all matter and light into it" sense. The Daily Mail reports that this hole -- a dark molecular cloud called Barnard 68 in the constellation Ophiuchus -- is composed of matter that prevents any light from going through it.

The Daily Mail has more on the cloud:

The interiors of molecular clouds are some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe.

The bizarre sight is formed due to a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorbing practically all the visible light emitted from background stars.

Scientists are unsure why molecular clouds form but do note that they are often where new star systems could form.

According to NASA, Barnard 68 is about 500 light years away.

 
One last thing…
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