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Space & Astronomy

Mystery surrounds formation of high-mass stars

April 30, 2018 | Comment icon 6 comments

It turns out that not all stars are born the same way. Image Credit: NASA
Contrary to our understanding of star formation, large stars don't appear to form the same way as smaller ones.
In low-mass stars, which make up most of the stars in the universe, there is a simple relationship between the mass of the star-forming cloud of gas and dust and that of the resulting star.

In the case of high-mass stars however, it turns out that things may work rather differently.
The discovery was made by researchers who had been using the Atacama Large Millimetre / Submillimetre Array (Alma) in Chile to observe a distant star-forming region known as W43-MM1.

"These findings were a complete surprise and call into question the intricate relationship between the masses of star-forming cores and the masses of the stars themselves, which has long been assumed," said study co-author Dr Kenneth Marsh.

"As a consequence, the community may need to revisit its calculations regarding the complex processes that dictate how stars are born."

Source: Independent | Comments (6)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
It would seem to me that they are just looking at an older area where most of the smaller things have already merged.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
That comment shows a fundemental lack of understanding of very, VERY, basic astronomy. If you are looking back further into space you are, because of the finite speed of light, looking back further in time and are, therefore, looking at a YOUNGER area.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
Ah your usual cheery self i see waspie. Looking further back in time does not necessarily mean that the area is younger than ours, just seems that it was ahead of us a long time ago. Your also assuming theories of origins as fact to draw your assumption.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tom the Photon 4 years ago
If an alien scientist trained its lens on the Earth to measure humans it might find regions that give very different readings.  If its telescope focuses on parts of central Africa they might conclude that the average human is dark-skinned and five feet tall.  If instead they looked only at Holland they might instead declare that humans are pale-skinned and six feet tall.   Similarly with this latest study.  There are about 200 000 000 000 stars in our galaxy alone.  (At least 25 stars for every human on this planet.)  The galaxy contains regions of different ages, different densities and diffe... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
What else do we have to go on? You're suggesting that our current cosmological theory is fundamentally incorrect in some substantial way which potentially invalidates observational analysis. Please feel free to expand your thoughts.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
And your suggesting that looking at old light from distant galaxies somehow relates to the observations of areas within ours. I don't care if my basic kindergarten level observation is invalid to your analysis. Obviously it's heavily flawed if you want to argue that it isn't obvious that the stars formed earlier or underwent more activity and in turn merged to create the clumpier area seen. It's a pretty simple concept.  Telling me it doesn't make sense because you are seeing old light when you look into the distance doesn't disprove that in any way, it just points out that you are a little cl... [More]

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