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THE CALIFORNIA MOLECULAR CLOUD
We present an analysis of wide-field infrared extinction maps of a region in Perseus just north of the Taurus-Auriga dark cloud complex. From this analysis we have identified a massive, nearby, but previously unrecognized, giant molecular cloud (GMC). From comparison of foreground star counts with Galactic models we derive a distance of 450 +/- 23 parsecs to the cloud. At this distance the cloud extends over roughly 80 pc and has a mass of approximately 10^5 solar masses, rivaling the Orion (A)doi:10.1088/0004-637x/703/1/52 fatcat:ewl7gzdxvbaajdysjbundw3ckq