All-sky distribution of cold cores
This map shows the density of cold cores in the Milky Way as detected by Planck during its first all-sky survey through its three highest frequency channels.
Cold and dense clumps of dust, the coldest agglomerations of matter found within molecular clouds, are extremely important in order to understand the earliest phases of the formation of stars.
The cold clumps detected by Planck tend to be mostly concentrated along the Milky Way's plane, although several have been identified also at high Galactic latitudes. Thanks to Planck, it has been possible to track down the distribution of the coldest dust on very large scales throughout the Galaxy, revealing how the majority of these cold clumps are either organised in filaments or located at the illuminated edges of pillars of dense gas.