The Monoceros R2 cloud is a molecular cloud that has some on-going star formation. It is called Monoceros R2 because it lies in the constellation of Monoceros, just adjacent to Orion, and it is associated with the second set of reflection nebulae found in that constellation. Astronomers don't understand why the Monoceros R2 cloud is not producing stars at the same rate or as massive as the stars that are forming out of the Orion clouds. One can see the Monoceros R2 cloud in the infrared because of the dust in the cloud. It also is very apparent in the molecular image of the region. The new stars in the Monoceros R2 cloud have ionized some of the hydrogen in the cloud and one can see this barely in the ion map of the region.
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© Ronald J. Maddalena 1998