Infrared dark cloud

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Composite image showing young stars in and around molecular cloud Cepheus B.
Star formation

An infrared dark cloud (IRDC) is a cold, dense region of a giant molecular cloud. They can be seen in silhouette against the bright diffuse mid-infrared emission from the galactic plane.[1][2]


Infrared dark clouds have only been recently discovered in 1996 using the ISO [3] and therefore are in need of further research.[4]


Astronomers believe that they represent the earliest stage in the formation of high-mass stars [5] and are therefore of great importance for understanding the star formation process as a whole.[6]

Statistics and Mass[edit]


See also[edit]


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  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2010-12-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Frieswijk, W. W. F.; Shipman, R. F. (2010). "Searching for dark clouds in the outer galactic plane. I. A statistical approach for identifying extended red(dened) regions in 2MASS". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 515: 51. arXiv:1005.4955. Bibcode:2010A&A...515A..51F. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200913000.
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