Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation, Stars > Dark Clouds, Young Stars, And A Dash Of Hollywood: New Results From Space Telescope’s Explorations Of Stellar Birthplaces

Dark Clouds, Young Stars, And A Dash Of Hollywood: New Results From Space Telescope’s Explorations Of Stellar Birthplaces


An astronomical project led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) has examined the earliest stages of star formation in unprecedented depth: Using the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Telescope and techniques more commonly encountered in Hollywood blockbuster computer graphics than in astronomy, the researchers produced a three-dimensional map of the molecular cloud B68, a possible future birthplace for a low-mass star. Turning their attention to much more massive molecular clouds, the researchers also managed to identify a previously unobserved class of object that is likely the earliest known precursor of the birth of massive stars.

Stars are born in hiding, when dense regions within clouds of gas and dust collapse under their own gravity. But the clouds not only provide the raw material for star formation, they also absorb most of the light from their interior, hiding from view the crucial details of stellar birth – one of the key astronomical processes if we want to understand our own origins!

Now, two groups in the EPoS (“Earliest Phases of Star formation”) project led by MPIA’s Oliver Krause, using ESA’s Herschel Space Telescope, report new results in understanding the earliest stages of star formation.

Full Story: http://www.mpia.de/Public/menu_q2e.php?Aktuelles/PR/2012/PR121030/PR_121030_en.html

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