DR21: Star Forming Region in Constellation
The DR-21 Region is approximately 3.0 kilo-Parsecs (about 10000 light years)
DR-21 is in the Cynus region of the galatic plane
at 80 degrees galatic latitude. (Therefore DR-21 is in the
direction the solar system is moving as it rotates
around the galactic center.)
The Cyngus region is in one of the spiral arms of our Galaxy and
is a region of active star formation. DR-21 is one star forming region.
Molecular chemistry is a very important part of the star
formation process, due to radiative cooling by spinning and
vibrational modes of molecules in the proto-stellar cloud.
These molecules are heated by colisions and then radiate at
These molecular clouds are very bright at radio wavelengths, so that
radio astronomy provides a unique opportunity for study of inter-stellar
The spectral features of the radio emission allows
identification of the type, temperatures and densities of molecules
in these clouds.
Radio wavelength observations have detected formaldehyde (H2CO),
ammonia (NH3), water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO),
and many other molecules in the DR-21 region.
Many Molecules have been detected
in star forming regions. Learn more about
the first Discoveries, made at the
Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.
Some links to PDF versions of the first molecular line observations are
||Tom Wilson, J. Martin-Pintado, F. Gardner and C. Henkel's
discovery of Formaldehyde (H2CO) in DR21
||Tom Wilson and R. Mauersberger's observations of ammonia
and other molecules in DR21
firstname.lastname@example.org Last edited 2001 February 26
The whole sky of stars (black and white) is shown at the right with
the Galactic Plane A radio survey survey shown in color.
The Galactic Center, Cygnus Region and Rosette Nebula are emphasized.
Follow the link to
select a region.
The sky is full of stars, but the locations of the births and deaths
are hidden in clouds of gas and dust. The radio wavelength observations
show the locations of star forming regions and supernova remnants.