The California Molecular Cloud

Post date: Sep 11, 2009 10:25:22 AM

What looks like the great Orion molecular cloud, competing with it as the largest and most massive GMC in the solar neighborhood, and it's at the same distance? The California Molecular Cloud. But there is one big difference between the two (and the reason you didn't hear about this cloud before). The California cloud is forming stars at a rate that is more than an order of magnitude smaller than the Orion cloud. Why? And is the California cloud an exception?