Two clouds of gas, both alike in dignity, appear side by side in the fair Milky Way. Known as “molecular clusters,” these enormous provinces of star-forming gas stretch across the sky, seeming to form a bridge between the Taurus and Perseus constellations where new suns can grow and thrive for billions of years to come.

It’s a celestial tale of star-crossed love — and, according to new research, it’s also an enormous optical illusion.

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