Galaxy’s cloud catalog reveals hydrogen fog

By Ashley Yeager, 18:44 PM December 9, 2013

A fog of hydrogen molecules  a raw ingredient for making baby stars  fills the Whirlpool galaxy.

Astronomers thought most of this form of hydrogen gas would exist in giant clouds of molecules that nurture the birth of new stars. But detailed radio telescope observations cataloging the clouds of the Whirlpool galaxy, or M51, suggest that almost 50 percent of the molecular hydrogen exists in a gas layer that spreads throughout the spiral and envelopes the clouds instead, researchers report in ...

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