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The Coalsack


Proper NameThe Coalsack
Messier NumberC99
NGC/IC NumberNone
ConstellationsCrux, Musca
Right Ascension12h 42m 0s (approximate centre)
Declination-63° 44' 36" (approximate centre)
Distancec.600 light years
c.180 parsecs
MagnitudeNot applicable
DimensionsApparent: 375' x 250'
Actual: 65 x 44 light years
Optimum VisibilityApril (Usually visible from southern latitudes)

An Absorption Nebula of the southern sky, this large dark cloud fills the southeastern portion of the constellation Crux, almost completely obscuring the light from the stars and Milky Way behind it.

This greyscale image clearly shows the dark mass of the Coalsack spreading across the face of the Milky Way, eastward of the bright foreground star Acrux. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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