Astronomers identified a giant cavity in space where for about 500 light-years the interstellar medium becomes almost invisibly thin. This cavity has been caused by supernova explosions around 6-22 million light-years ago. The first use of augmented reality in a peer-reviewed Astronomers paper allows anyone to use these observations to visualize the way stars rise phoenix-like from the ashes of their predecessors.
The Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds are two enormous regions filled with gas. Although bright in the infrared they are extremely faint at visible wavelengths and so have only been subject to intense study since space telescopes arrived. The Taurus molecular cloud is possibly the nearest large star formation region to Earth, at around 430 light-years away. Both form part of the recently discovered Radcliffe Wave, the nearest gaseous structure to the Sun’s location within the Milky Way.
The project marks the most detailed 3D mapping of galactic dust. This in turn has been used to produce the first 3D reconstruction of how gas forms stars after supernova explosions based on observations, rather than simulations. The work was published with augmented reality visualizations, which anyone can see and interact with using this link here to scan a QR code, also available in an accompanying paper.