Bally, John AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Formation, evolution, and destruction
- Clouds in galaxies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A large and relatively dense cloud of cold gas and dust in interstellar space from which new stars are born. Molecular clouds consist primarily of molecular hydrogen (H2) gas, have temperatures in the range 10–100 K, and contain 1031–1036 kg of mass (for comparison the mass of the Sun is 2 × 1030 kg). Molecular clouds are among the most massive gravitationally bound objects in the Milky Way Galaxy.
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