First in the world! AI-generated map of the molecular gas cloud distribution in the Milky Way galaxy

A research group led by Shinji Fujita, a Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, has identified approximately 140,000 interstellar molecular clouds from detailed observations of the Milky Way galaxy using the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Nobeyama 45m radio telescope. Using artificial intelligence, they estimated the distance of each of the clouds, calculated the size and mass of interstellar molecular clouds in the Milky Way galaxy, and successfully drew the most detailed distribution of interstellar molecular clouds in the Milky Way galaxy’s disk. This research is expected to have an impact on various astronomical studies, such as the calculation of the frequency of “collisions between interstellar molecular clouds,” which are considered important events in creating large stars and star clusters.