Energetic ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars has molded the globules and ionized their bright rims. The globules also stream away from the Vela supernova remnant which may have influenced their swept-back shapes … In fact, cometary globule CG30 sports a small reddish glow near its head, a telltale sign of energetic jets from a star in the early stages of formation.
Cometary Globules (CG-30/31/38 Cometary Globules in Vela/Puppis)
This particular globule also shows a faint red glow, probably from excited hydrogen, and seems about to devour an edge-on spiral galaxy, which in reality is hundreds of millions of light years away, far beyond CG 4.
CG 4, a cometary globule
In 1976 several elongated comet-like objects were discovered on pictures taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Because of their appearance, they became known as cometary globules even though they have nothing in common with comets.
They were all located in a huge patch of glowing gas called the Gum Nebula. They had dense, dark, dusty heads and long, faint tails, which were generally pointing away from the Vela supernova remnant located at the centre of the Gum Nebula.
The relatively small size is a general feature of cometary globules. All of the cometary globules found so far are isolated, relatively small clouds of neutral gas and dust within the Milky Way, which are surrounded by hot ionised material.
The Mouth of the Beast
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