Hey, Who Ripped Open a Hole in the Universe?
This eerie patch of blackness in the middle of a busy star cluster may look like a rather misshapen black hole, but it’s actually something even stranger. It’s also quite possibly the loneliest, darkest, coldest place in the entire cosmos.
This is Barnard 68, and it’s what’s known as a dark molecular cloud. Basically, the dust and gas that makes up Barnard 68 is so tightly packed together that it blocks out all the light behind it. The result might look like some alien civilization tore apart the fabric of the universe and opening up a gateway to the howling void, but thankfully - or unfortunately, I guess, depending on how you feel about the howling void - it’s just gas. Make that a lot of gas.
Here’s some additional info on this particular patch of darkness: