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Astronomy: It's possible that stars are forming faster than expected

Astronomy: It’s possible that stars are forming faster than expected


According to a new study, the maturation time of stars could be much shorter than previously thought. Observations of Chinese researchers indicate that the gas cloud develops into a stellar embryo 10 times faster than previously thought.

with help from Five hundred meters long spherical radio telescope (fast) – the world’s largest radio telescope – Muhammad Ali Ahmad 1544 She checked with her star fetus. They zoomed in on the pre-stellar core in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, just 450 light-years away – a huge hotbed of stars. By doing so, they discovered that the tiny embryo they focused on was forming ten times faster than expected thanks to weak magnetic fields.

Builds on previous measurements

Magnetic forces keep the material in place, slowing down the compression process, which, thanks to gravity, leads to a pre-stellar core dense enough to collapse and trigger nuclear fusion. Prior to the launch of FAST last April, researchers had Lynds 1544 with the weakest Arecibo-Radiotelskop Investigation of Puerto Rico.

National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Illustration of the Taurus Molecular Cloud and the Fast Telescope

They measured magnetic fields in the thinner gas layers outside as well as the stronger fields inside the core. Magnetic force prevails in the outer layer and gravity in the core because the core is 10,000 times denser than the outer layer. What was missing were the measurements in the intermediate region.

Gravity “defeats” the magnetic field

With FAST – a huge bowl in a natural basin in southwest China – this has now been achieved. It was found that the magnetic field strength in the intermediate region is not stronger than in the outer layer. “If the standard theory works, the magnetic field would have to be much stronger to withstand a 100-fold increase in cloud density,” says De Lee, FAST Principal Scientist and first author of the just-published book. A study published in the journal “Nature”.

Thus, the battle between gravity and the magnetic field is not “won” by gravity in the core, but actually in the cloud. “There (in the cloud) stars are forming, not in the dense core,” he explains Paula Caselli from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, which was not involved in the research. “If this is the case in other gas clouds, it will be revolutionary for the star formation community.”

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