two dark splotches against purple-red starry sky

Two spooky shadows lurk in a glittering sea of stars. This image is a smaller section of the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, or Messier 24. (Image credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit)

There are lots of goblins in the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud.

That sounds like a plot line from the Addams Family. Clouds of dust block starlight from being seen further away. Shadows in the constellation Sagittarius can be seen in a new image from the European Space Observatory.

They're called absorption, or dark, nebulas. We can't see the regions with visible light because they don't emit light. These clumps of stardust leave outlines against the stars behind them. Dark nebulas are sometimes referred to as holes in the sky.

There is a mind-blowing image of the Tarantula Nebula.

The stars could be forming inside the dense clouds, even though they are dark.

Both of the clouds are called Barnard 92. The area is so rich in stars that it is visible to the naked eye during dark nights.

This picture was taken by the VLT Survey Telescope at the Paranal Observatory. The image comes from the work done with the OmegaCAM camera.

It's a feast for the eyes, but also provides more information on how stars evolve.

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