molecular cloud

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molecular cloud

n
(Astronomy) a cool dense interstellar region composed of a wide variety of molecules, mainly hydrogen, plus some dust, in which stars are forming
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Astrophysicists have granted Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa the unique opportunity to explore data taken from molecular clouds in space - data which may hold the secrets behind the birth of stars.
And it's those dense molecular clouds that are the sites of future stars, planets and comets.
Exactly how the conversion of the ISM to stars takes place is intricately linked to how the internal structure of the cold, molecular clouds in the ISM forms and evolves.
About 110 papers discuss such aspects as the evolution of giant molecular clouds in nearby galaxies, from large scale surveys of the galaxy to high resolution observations with ALMA, molecular gas properties and star formation in interacting galaxies, a study on the excitation mechanism of methyl formate in Orion KL using transitions in the vibrational excited states, and test observation of a new 100 GHz wave-band four-beam receiver system on the Nobeyama 45-meter telescope.
The thin disc hosts spiral arms, young stars, giant molecular clouds -- all objects which are young, at least in the context of the Galaxy," explains Aldo Serenelli from the Institute of Space Sciences (Barcelona), a co-author of the study.
Computational models of stars forming within galaxies commonly zoom in on giant molecular clouds in a volume of interstellar space tens of light-years across with a resolution (ability to distinguish details) smaller than the size of our solar system.
Other trails lead from incomprehensibly (at the time) distant radio sources to the conclusion that black holes are fact, not speculation, whilst closer to home the radio signatures of complex molecules reveal the chemistry associated with Giant Molecular Clouds formed in the death of stars.
Though star formation takes place in molecular clouds, the minimum requirements for it to occur at all are not completely clear and the efficiency of the processes in converting the available matter into stars is still a matter for investigation.
Stars form deep within molecular clouds and the earliest stages of their development cannot be seen in visible-light telescopes because of obscuration by dust.
They include a cooking recipe for "space balls," made of sugars and proteins just like molecular clouds, and an exercise to mimic the friction created by the tidal movement of ice.
The diffuse gas eventually collapses into denser molecular clouds, and from these solar systems eventually form," Ziurys explains.
STARS form in molecular clouds - dense concentrations of interstellar gas and dust which orbit the galaxy.

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