Mapping Out Interstellar Clouds #SpaceSaturday

Stars and galaxies and black holes, and even nebulas and comets tend to get the balance of the attention. But there are many other structures in space. In fact, there are clouds in space. Even though interstellar clouds are truly enormous, we know very little about them. Some scientists are working to understand these enormous celestial structure. Here’s more from Centauri Dreams:

When stars are born, clouds of gas and dust that were not incorporated into the final stellar system remain. Moving on an orbit around the Milky Way that takes some 230 million years to complete, the Solar System encounters these clouds, one of which is the Local Interstellar Cloud, although as Brandt told Richard Stone in the Science article, we really know so little about the cloud environment that our conception is on the order of a child’s sketch. According to the sketch, the Sun has been in the Local Interstellar Cloud for thousands of years (Brandt cites 60) but we’re on its boundaries and appear to be approaching the edge of the so-called G Cloud now. I should add that, as we’ll see in a moment, there are scientists who disagree.

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