Star formation is triggered by cloud-cloud collisions, study finds

Date:

Share post:

Stars form by the gravitational contraction of clouds of gas in space and can have various masses. Massive stars, together with many other stars, may form a huge star cluster (a group of more than 10,000 stars). The formation of such a star cluster requires the rapid packing of enormous amounts of gas and other materials into a small space, but the mechanism by which this occurs has yet to be clarified.

Star formation is triggered by cloud-cloud collisions, study finds
Demonstration of typical colliding molecular clouds (represented by blue color and yellow contours)
 forming star clusters discovered by radio observations. Positions of the cluster-forming colliding
 clouds reported in the present special issue are denoted by red dots plotted on the picture of the
Milky Way Galaxy on the right (the circle denotes the position of the Sun). Images of the Antennae
 Galaxies and the Triangulum Galaxy are shown on the left. The inset optical images show the
Eagle Nebula and [DBS2003]179, where shining nebulae and newly born star clusters can
be seen [Credit: Nagoya University, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, NASA,
JPL-Caltech, R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech), Robert Gendler, Subaru Telescope, ESA, The Hubble
 Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), Hubble Collaboration, and 2MASS]

A research team led by Associate Professor Kengo Tachihara and Emeritus Professor Yasuo Fukui of Nagoya University focused on a hypothesis in which multiple gas clouds collide, which allows them to gather efficiently and thereby form a star cluster. 

To verify this hypothesis, the team, in collaboration with researchers from Osaka Prefecture University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, conducted observational studies of a vast amount of data obtained as a result of more than a decade of research, as well as theoretical studies of numerical simulations with the data. As a result, they found that collisions of gas clouds hovering in space do, in fact, induce the birth of a star cluster.




They observed many collisions of gas clouds in our Milky Way Galaxy and also in other galaxies, suggesting that these collisions are a universal phenomenon. From this perspective, there is an increasingly likely possibility that the Milky Way Galaxy collided with other galaxies soon after its birth, which caused gas clouds in the galaxies to collide frequently, resulting in the formation of many globular clusters (groups of more than one million stars). Their findings have contributed to a deeper understanding of the formation of massive stars and the birth of globular clusters.

The studies were published in the peer-reviewed journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan as a special issue titled “Star Formation Triggered by Cloud-Cloud Collision ?,” which contains a collection of 20 original papers based on elaborate verifications of individual astronomical bodies, as well as a review paper summarizing the latest understandings of star formation by collisions of gas clouds.

Source: Nagoya University [May 07, 2021]

Support The Archaeology News Network with a small donation!




ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Veiled supernovae provide clue to stellar evolution

At the end of its life, a red supergiant star explodes in a hydrogen-rich supernova. By comparing observation...

Pluto’s hidden ocean

When NASA's New Horizons cruises by Pluto in 2015, the images it captures could help astronomers determine if...

The toughest life on Earth

You can freeze it, thaw it, vacuum dry it and expose it to radiation, but still life survives....

A nuclear-powered ‘tunnelbot’ to search for life on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

Between 1995 and 2003, NASA's Galileo spacecraft made several flybys of Jupiter's moon, Europa. Several findings from observations...

What young stars teach us about the birth of our planet, sun and solar system?

The familiar star at the center of our solar system has had billions of years to mature and...

Investigating the potential for life around the galaxy’s smallest stars

When the world's most powerful telescope launches into space this year, scientists will learn whether Earth-sized planets in...

Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light

A UK team of astronomers report the first detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30%...

Detecting scars from the Big Bang

The events surrounding the Big Bang were so cataclysmic that they left an indelible imprint on the fabric...