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What is an “Aquila Rift”?

My first assisgnment is to figure out what is an “Aquila Rift”.  I am reading “The Universe:  365 Days” and the picture on July 4 got my eye.  In a moment of Monty Python, I thought of the “Meaning of Life” and the earth traveling through space.   In my first venture down the lane of science, I will try and understand what an Aquila Rift is, and why it is called an Aquila Rift.  

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 The Aquila Rift is a molecular cloud.  Via Wikipedia, a molecular cloud “is a type of instellar cloud whose density and size permits the formation of molecules, most commonly molecular hydrogen (H2).”  Of course, the most famous molecular cloud is that of the Carina Nebula giving the universe the finger.  There are different types of molecular clouds called Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs), Small Molecular Clouds and High Latitude Diffuse Molecular Clouds.  The Aquila Rift is a “blank” molecular cloud.   The difference in the classification is based upon either the mass of the molecular cloud or its dentisy.  Continue reading

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Astronomy | Leave a comment