Taurus Molecular Cloud
This three-colour image of the B211/B213 filament in the Taurus Molecular Cloud combines Herschel bands at 160 μm (blue), 250 μm (green) and 500 μm (red). The image spans about 2×5 degrees.
Taurus is a star-forming region about 450 light-years away. This image shows the glow of cosmic dust in the interstellar material that pervades the cloud, revealing an intricate pattern of filaments dotted with a few compact, bright cores: the seeds of future stars. The B211/B213 filament is an example of how the material along filaments is not at all static: astronomers have detected what appear to be accretion flows, with the most prominent filaments drawing matter from their surroundings through a network of smaller filaments, or 'striations', perpendicular to the main filament.