• A giant interstellar formation, the Musca cloud, located near the Southern Cross (Crux) constellation has been mapped and its 3D structure unravelled by astronomers from the University of Crete, Greece, and Australian National University.
  • To map out the structure they used the fact that the cloud was ‘singing’ or vibrating magnetically as a whole.
  • The pattern of the vibrations revealed the 3D structure of the cloud.
  • Analysing this, the researchers found that the shape of the cloud was not filamentous, as believed earlier but was like a flat sheet seen edgeways.
  • This alters descriptions in textbooks. Knowing the shape can help understand the forces at work that formed the cloud.