Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation > SOFIA Observations Reveal A Surprise In Massive Star Formation

SOFIA Observations Reveal A Surprise In Massive Star Formation


Researchers using the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured the most detailed mid-infrared images yet of a massive star condensing within a dense cocoon of dust and gas.

The star is G35.20-0.74, more commonly known as G35. It is one of the most massive known protostars and is located relatively close to Earth at a distance of 8,000 light years.

Until now, scientists expected the formation process of massive stars would be complicated by the turbulent, chaotic environments in the centers of new star clusters where they form. But observations of G35 suggest this giant star, more than 20 times the mass of our sun, is forming by the same orderly process as do stars with the same mass as the sun. Stars most like the sun are understood to form by simple, symmetric collapse of interstellar clouds.

Full Story: http://www.sofia.usra.edu/News/news_2013/04_16_13/index.html

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