The Cold Flames of the Perseus Molecular Cloud

via SyFy

Some of the largest single structures in the galaxy are huge dark nebulae, clouds of gas and dust that are extremely cold in human terms and emit almost no visible light. These are called Giant Molecular Clouds — they’re cold enough that atoms can stick together to form more complex molecules — and are so utterly dark that we tend to see them in silhouette against the star-filled Milky Way.

… to our eyes, that is. We see only a narrow band of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. But others parts exist, like radio waves, X-rays, ultraviolet. We’ve built telescopes and equipped them with detectors to see these other kinds of light; many are in space because we need them to be above our atmosphere, which absorbs those kinds of light, making it opaque to them.

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