Gould Belt


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Gould Belt

(goold) (Local System) A local formation of stars and clouds of gas and dust that appears to be a spur attached to the lower edge of the Orion arm of the Galaxy. It contains many of the apparently brightest stars in the sky, which follow the projection of the system across the sky in a ‘belt’ at 16° to the line of the Milky Way. The system is about 700 parsecs wide and 70 parsecs thick and includes the II Persei, Scorpio-Centaurus, and Orion OB-associations (see association). The Sun lies approximately 12 parsecs north of the Belt's equatorial plane and about 100 parsecs from its center.
References in periodicals archive ?
The far-infrared images from the Herschel Space Observatory were obtained as part of the Herschel Gould Belt Survey key program.
This structure, known as the Gould belt, passes through the galactic plane at a 20 [degrees] angle.
Astronomers had previously noted that the distribution of the midlatitude gammaray sources, recorded by the EGRET telescope aboard NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), coincides with the Gould belt.
However, midlatitude gamma rays may arise from collisions of charged particles in the powerful winds of active, rapidly rotating stars in the Gould belt.
According to Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, of Cardiff University and a member of the Gould Belt Key Project, for which this image was taken, "The insight into the way stars are forming that is provided by this image is absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait to see the rest of the data we're going to receive over the coming months.