Dark Doodad Nebula

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Dark Doodad Nebula
Dark nebula
Dark Doodad Nebulae.jpg
The Dark Doodad is the vertical streak at center
Observation data: J2000 epoch
Right ascension 12h 25m 00s
Declination−71° 42′ 00″
Physical characteristics
Dimensions≈3 degrees
DesignationsSandqvist 149, CG 21, BHR 80, TGU H1875, DCld 301.7-07.2, [DB2002b] G301.70-7.16
See also: Lists of nebulae

The Dark Doodad Nebula is a dark nebula located near the globular cluster NGC 4372, having a length of nearly three degrees of arc. NGC 4372 "is partially obscured by dust lanes, but still appears as a large object some 10 arcseconds in diameter," according to Astronomy of the Milky Way (2004).[1] Although officially unnamed, this long molecular cloud has come to be known under this name. It can be found in the southern constellation of Musca (the Fly) with strong binoculars.[2]

This cloud consists of regions of dense gas and dust, and is one of the closest star forming regions to the Solar System.[3] It was described in Sky & Telescope as one of the finest dark nebulae—one that is "wonderful, winding, and very definite."[4] Just to the east of the southern end of the Dark Doodad is the globular cluster NGC 4372.[4]


The Dark Doodad was named by American amateur astronomer and writer Dennis di Cicco in 1986 upon seeing an image he took from Alice Springs in central Australia.[2][5] Steven Coe gave it the name Sandqvist 149, because he believed it should be named after the astronomer who found it, though he acknowledges that the popular term prevails.[3]


  1. ^ Inglis, Mike (2004). Astronomy of the Milky Way: Observer's Guide to the Southern Sky. Springer. p. 83. ISBN 1852337427.
  2. ^ a b Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (December 8, 2008). "The Dark Doodad Nebula". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Coe, Steven R. (2007). Nebulae and How to Observe Them. New York, New York: Springer. p. 95. ISBN 1-84628-482-1.
  4. ^ a b Whitman, Alan (February 2002). "Nebulae of the Deep South". Sky & Telescope. Vol. 103 no. 2. p. 108. Bibcode:2002S&T...103b.108W.
  5. ^ Ventrudo, Brian (May 27, 2008). "The 'Dark Doodad'". One-Minute Astronomer. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 12h 25m 00s, −71° 42′ 00″