luminous mass

luminous mass

[′lü·mə·nəs ′mas]
(astronomy)
The mass of a celestial object inferred from its luminosity or the luminosities of its components.
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The cloud should appear like a less luminous mass, and should be either decisively separated from other warmer ones as are our cumulus clouds, or shaded on the edges like our stratus clouds; that radiating shape and the appearance of currents running into a cavity and forming a distinct scarp will not ever be observed, in any guise, at least in what we can perceive and reasonably conjecture about our clouds.
Cosmologists believe that the amount of dark matter -- mysterious material that exerts a gravitational influence on its surroundings but doesn't emit light -- far exceeds the quantity of visible, luminous mass in the universe.
Now, for the next 14 days, the Whole Earth Telescope, an international network of cooperating astronomical observatories led by the University of Delaware, will be continuously monitoring three of these stars to try to figure out what's going on inside their luminous masses of cooling plasma.