photodissociation region

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A region at the boundary of a molecular cloud where ultraviolet light dominates, dissociating (breaking up) the molecules into fragments such as radicals and ions. These fragments are very reactive and generate a rich and complex chemistry. The ultraviolet light may come from an external source such as a star or nebula, or from an embedded source such as a young star within the cloud.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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