|Giant molecular cloud|
|Observation data: J2000.0 epoch|
|Right ascension||03h 35.0m |
|Distance||956–1047 ly (293–321  pc)|
|Apparent dimensions (V)||6°×2°|
|Designations||Perseus Molecular Cloud, Perseus Cloud, Per MCld, Per Mol Cloud, Perseus Complex, PMC |
The Perseus molecular cloud (Per MCld) is a nearby (~1000 ly) giant molecular cloud in the constellation of Perseus and contains over 10,000 solar masses of gas and dust covering an area of 6 by 2 degrees. Unlike the Orion molecular cloud it is almost invisible apart from two clusters, IC 348 and NGC 1333, where low-mass stars are formed. It is very bright at mid and far-infrared wavelengths and in the submillimeter originating in dust heated by the newly formed low-mass stars.
It shows a curious ring structure in maps made by the IRAS and MSX satellites and the Spitzer Space Telescope and has been detected by the COSMOSOMAS at microwave frequencies as a source of anomalous "spinning dust" emission.