Taurus Molecular Cloud

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Taurus Molecular Cloud
Molecular cloud
Giant molecular cloud
Observation data: J2000.0 [1] epoch
Right ascension 04h 41.0m [1]
Declination+25° 52′ [1]
DesignationsHCL 2, Heiles's cloud 2, TMC, Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 [1]
See also: Lists of nebulae

The Taurus Molecular Cloud is a molecular cloud in the constellations Taurus and Auriga. This cloud hosts a stellar nursery containing hundreds of newly formed stars.[2] The Taurus Molecular Cloud is only 140 pc (430 ly) away from earth, making it the nearest large star formation region. It also reveals characteristics that make it ideal for detailed physical studies. It has been important in star formation studies at all wavelengths.[3]

The cloud is notable for containing many complex molecules, including cyanopolyynes HCnN for n=3,5,7,9.[4]

This video begins with a wide-field view of the sky, before zooming into the Taurus Molecular Cloud region, about 450 light-years from Earth. Dark clouds of cosmic dust grains obscure the background stars at visible wavelengths. The submillimetre-wavelength observations from the LABOCA camera on APEX reveal the heat glow of the dust grains, shown here in orange tones. The observations cover two regions in the cloud, which are known as Barnard 211 and Barnard 213. In them, newborn stars are hidden, and dense clouds of gas are on the verge of collapsing to form yet more stars.
This video pans over part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud region.


  1. ^ a b c d "TMC-1 -- Molecular Cloud". SIMBAD. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  2. ^ Luhman, K. L.; Allen, P. R.; Espaillat, C.; Hartmann, L.; Calvet, N. (2010). "THE DISK POPULATION OF THE TAURUS STAR-FORMING REGION". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 186 (1): 111–174. arXiv:0911.5457. Bibcode:2010ApJS..186..111L. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/186/1/111. ISSN 0067-0049.
  3. ^ Guedel, M.; Briggs, K. R.; Arzner, K.; Audard, M.; et al. (2007). "The XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus Molecular Cloud (XEST)". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 468 (2): 353–377. arXiv:astro-ph/0609160. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20065724.
  4. ^ A. Freeman and T. J. Millar (1983), Formation of complex molecules in TMC-1. Nature, volume 301, 402-404 doi:10.1038/301402a0

Coordinates: Sky map 04h 41m 00s, +25° 52′ 00″