Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Cirrus Cloud

  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1709-3


In astronomy, cirrus clouds are sources of infrared (IR) emission detected by the InfraRed Astronomy Satellite (IRAS), a joint project of the USA, the UK, and the Netherlands which surveyed the sky at wavelengths of 12, 25, 60, and 100 μm. The spatial distribution of this IR emission is similar in appearance to terrestrial cirrus clouds, although the latter have nothing to do with the interstellar clouds. The astronomical emission arises from interstellar dust in our galaxy, particularly that associated with the diffuse portions of interstellar clouds.

See Also


Spatial Distribution Bioorganic Chemistry Joint Project Interstellar Cloud Interstellar Dust 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA