Hubble reveals new clues about the formation of stars
Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes new clues about the formation of stars. Our galaxy contains at least 200 billion stars, but much about their development remains a mystery.
Stars form from the collapse of massive hydrogen clouds. According to the ESA, only about 30 percent of the cloud’s initial mass winds up as a newborn star, and it is not yet known what happens to the remaining hydrogen.
Scientists have speculated that a newly forming star blows off a lot of hot gas through outflowing jets. Based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, exports have determined that this process of gas-clearing by a star’s outflow may not have as much influence on its final mass as what was theorized.
“In one stellar formation model, if you start out with a small cavity, as the protostar rapidly becomes more evolved, its outflow creates an ever-larger cavity until the surrounding gas is eventually blown away, leaving an isolated star,” explained lead researcher Nolan Habel of the University of Toledo in Ohio.
“Our observations indicate there is no progressive growth that we can find, so the cavities are not growing until they push out all of the mass in the cloud. So, there must be some other process going on that gets rid of the gas that doesn’t end up in the star.”
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
Video Credit: NASA Goddard
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