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Wed Jun 9, 2021, 02:33 AM

Where a star is born [View all]

9 June 2021/Amalyah Hart

Fascinating new insights from the 238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Galaxies. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO)

Stars like our Sun are born in stellar nurseries – cosmic clouds of dust and gas that churn out thousands of astral progeny in their lifetimes.

In two new papers due to be presented this week at the 238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, scientists have for the first time charted the stellar nurseries in the nearby Universe, challenging the prevailing notion that all clouds look and act the same.

For six years between 2013 and 2019, the international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) in the Atacama desert of northern Chile to survey 100,000 stellar nurseries across 90 galaxies, with the aim of understanding how they connect to their parent galaxies. This was part of the PHANGS (Physics at High Angular Resolution in Nearby GalaxieS) project.

“To understand how stars form, we need to link the birth of a single star back to its place in the Universe,” says Eva Schinnerer, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Germany, and principal investigator of PHANGS.


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Judi Lynn Jun 2021 OP
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