We present the analysis of the interstellar gamma-ray emission measured by the Fermi Large Area Telescope toward a region in the second Galactic quadrant at 100 degrees <= l <= 145 degrees and -15 degrees <= b <= +30 degrees. This region encompasses the prominent Gould Belt clouds of Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and the Polaris flare, as well as atomic and molecular complexes at larger distances, like that associated with NGC 7538 in the Perseus arm. The good kinematic separation in velocity between the local, Perseus, and outer arms, and the presence of massive complexes in each of them, make this region well suited to probe cosmic rays (CRs) and the interstellar medium beyond the solar circle. The gamma-ray emissivity spectrum of the gas in the Gould Belt is consistent with expectations based on the locally measured CR spectra. The gamma-ray emissivity decreases from the Gould Belt to the Perseus arm, but the measured gradient is flatter than expectations for CR sources peaking in the inner Galaxy as suggested by pulsars. The X(CO) = N(H(2))/W(CO) conversion factor is found to increase from (0.87 +/- 0.05) x 10(20) cm(-2) (K km s(-1))(-1) in the Gould Belt to (1.9 +/- 0.2) x 10(20) cm(-2) (K km s(-1))(-1) in the Perseus arm. We derive masses for the molecular clouds under study. Dark gas, not properly traced by radio and microwave surveys, is detected in the Gould Belt through a correlated excess of dust and gamma-ray emission: its mass amounts to similar to 50% of the CO-traced mass.
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