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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.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006