This image does not show a “vacuum in space”, but it shows a cloud of gas and dust that hides the stars

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

An image of a supposed void in space, hundreds of millions of light years in size, has been shared hundreds of times on social networks since at least August 14, 2020 and reappeared in July 2022. In fact, the image shows a molecular cloud consisting of gas and dust, absorbing light and hiding the stars behind , which can still be seen with infrared devices.

“There is such a void in space that if you pass through it, you will encounter nothing for 752,536,988 years.”say posts on Facebook (1And the twoAnd the 3) and twitter (1And the two). some point out This time would equate to “More than 200 million light-years away”.

The image, which was attributed to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), shows a dark area surrounded by stars.

Screenshot of a tweet made on August 1, 2022

Issues are also traded in . format Einglish s Portuguese.

Reverse image search on Google resulted in a file Entry On the NASA website, published on October 8, 2017, in which he clarified that it corresponds to Barnard 68 Molecular Cloudin which “The high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorbs practically all the visible light emitted by background stars”.

“The fact that there are no visible stars in the center indicates that Bernard 68 is relatively close, as measurements put it at 500 light-years away.” and half width Light year.

“It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but these clouds are themselves known to be potential places for new star formation.”Add.

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Gonzalo TancrediA doctor in astronomy and a member of the International Astronomical Union, explained to AFP Factual that “It is completely wrong to speak of emptiness, in fact it is full of matter.”.

“In the infrared, unlike the image in the visible spectrum, the cloud can be more transparent and therefore some stars can be seen behind it,” pointed out.

European Southern Observatory (ESO) general On July 2, 1999, an image of Barnard 68 where, by colorimetry, stars behind the cloud were observed.

ESO details that clouds of this type “It is composed mostly of molecular hydrogen (H2), and because it is so cold, 99% of its mass cannot be detected by direct observation.”.

Tancredi added that they were named Giant molecular clouds Because the gases there are in the form of molecules, not atoms.

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