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Behold the great vanishing blobs of the Carina Nebula

Illustration for article titled Behold the great vanishing blobs of the Carina Nebula

Just like when storm clouds are swept away to let the Sun shine through, the dark molecular clouds that once engulfed the Carina Nebula are now evaporating, with these little brown blobs the last remnants of once mighty cosmic formations.


Of course, unlike the clouds on Earth, these molecular clouds actually provided much of the raw material that helped form the surrounding stars in the first place. That adds a bit of extra poignancy to their coming disappearance, considering its those stars that are the main drivers of the clouds' disappearance, as NASA explains:

The unusual blobs found in the Carina nebula, some of which are seen floating on the upper right, might best be described as evaporating. Energetic light and winds from nearby stars are breaking apart the dark dust grains that make the iconic forms opaque. Ironically the blobs, otherwise known as dark molecular clouds, frequently create in their midst the very stars that later destroy them. The floating space mountains pictured above by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope span a few light months. The Great Nebula in Carina itself spans about 30 light years, lies about 7,500 light years away, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of Keel (Carina).



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Beware of the blobs, they creep

And leap, and glide and slide across the void

Right through the stars and all around deep space

A splotch, a blotch.

Be careful of the blobs.