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The COordinated Molecular Probe Line Extinction Thermal Emission Survey of Star Forming Regions

The Warm Dust Shell in Perseus

Naomi Ridge, Scott Schnee, Alyssa Goodman, Jonathan Foster


Naomi A. Ridge, Scott L. Schnee, Alyssa A. Goodman, Jonathan B. Foster,"The COMPLETE Nature of the Warm Dust Shell in Perseus", 2006, ApJ, 643, 932.


perseus shell

Even though we often think of Perseus as a long chain of dark clouds (e.g. as it appears in CO maps), its dust emission is dominated by a giant shell, filled with H-alpha emission (above). As can be seen in the overlay below, the finger of extinction bifurcating the H-alpha emission clearly indicates that the shell is behind the molecular clouds.

Spectral-line and 8um (MSX) data

Spectral-line and 8um (MSX) data (see Ridge et al. 2006) show that the shell & molecular gas are interacting on the backside of the clouds. Appreciation of the shell's existence allows understanding of the apparently bi-modal magnetic field distribution (below), with one component associated with the warm ring (blue vectors) and the other with the cool clouds (red vectors).