|This false color image was
created by a radio telescope that measured the properties of molecules
in the interstellar medium. The red colors in the image represent where there is a lot of molecules. The white area to the upper left indicates where no one has yet looked for molecules.
If you compare this image with the infrared image you will notice many similarities. Since molecules will only form when there is enough dust to protect them from destructive starlight, one expects similarities between the two images.
Star formation only occurs in regions where there is a high density of gas and dust. Thus, the regions that are red in this image are where stars are currently forming. Studying molecules is important in our study of how stars form.
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© Ronald J. Maddalena 1998