Astrophysics (Index)About

Radcliffe wave

(wave-shaped string of molecular clouds)

The Radcliffe wave is a string of star-forming regions forming a wave-like shape (like a wavy string), which at its closest point is about 400 ly from Earth, stretching about 9000 ly in length. It stretches over some length of the Local Arm, its wave-like shape roughly a full wavelength, reaching above and below the galactic plane. It was discerned in 2019/2020, using 3D data gathered from Gaia and other observations. A portion of it consists of most of Gould's Belt, and given that it is based upon recent, more-reliable 3D data, appears to be an actual physical structure whereas what is currently termed Gould's Belt includes less-related clouds.

(nebula,molecular cloud)
Further reading:
/Lookback Years
~0100pc400lyRadcliffe wave
Coordinates:Radcliffe wave