Once you leave the majestic skies of Earth, the word “cloud” no longer means a white fluffy-looking structure that produces rain. Instead, clouds in the greater universe are clumpy areas of greater density than their surroundings.
This illustration depicts a quasar, a type of active galactic nucleus, surrounded by a dusty donut shape (torus) and clumps called “clouds.” These clouds start small but can expand to be more than 1 parsec (3.3 light-years) wide. In this diagram, the clouds are at least 1 parsec from the torus.Credits: Illustration by Nima AbkenarDownload image without labels here
Space telescopes have observed these cosmic clouds in the vicinity of supermassive black holes, those mysterious dense objects from which no light can escape, with masses equivalent ...Read More