Barnard 92 & 93
Dark Nebulae
aka  LDN 323, LDN 327
Opacity: B 92: 6, B 93: 4 (1-6, 6 is darkest)
Apparent Diameter: B 92: 7.6', B 93: 6.3'

Minimum requirements to view: any telescope under dark skies

On the northwestern edge of the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24) lie two prominent dark nebulae.  The star cloud itself is really nothing more than a "window", or break in the dark clouds, that allows us to see the faint and distant stars which are usually obscured by the dust.  Imagine, if there wasn't so much obscuring dust, much of the Milky Way would appear this rich with stars!

On the edge of this window we call M24 lie two large dark clouds, Barnard 92 & 93.  They are obvious to us only by how they blot out the otherwise rich field of stars here.  Barnard 92 is the darker of the two, appearing like a large round hole in space, nearly devoid of stars.  David Knisely described this pair of dark nebulae as looking "like a pair of 'black eyes' staring back at me, in a field filled with stars."

In my 18-inch f/4.5 Dob, B 92 was quite prominent at 94x.  The impression was that of a round shadow with very fuzzy edges projected on the sky, not unlike the satellite images of the shadow of the moon as it crosses the earth during a solar eclipse.  Barnard listed the opacity of B 92 is as 6 out of 6, with 6 being the very darkest nebula.

Barnard 93 lies nearby to the northeast.  It isn't quite as obvious, nor as large, but still rather striking in the telescope.  The shape of this cloud isn't as round as B 92.  I was able to make out long "arms" of darkness running roughly north/south from the center.

The field in a six-inch f/8 at 50x. North is down and east is right.

Color Image of M 24 star cloud and B 92/93

Millennium Star Atlas Vol III Chart 1368
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 15
Uranometria 2000 Vol II Chart 339

Visit CapellaSoft or go back to the Skyhound main page.