Home Electromagnetic Scientists study the Tarantula Nebula to learn more about star formation

Scientists study the Tarantula Nebula to learn more about star formation


Scientists studying the Tarantula Nebula claim to have gained a better understanding of how stars form.

The researchers also got a nice image of a large cloud of gas and dust nearby the Milky Way galaxy.

Researchers recently said their observations provide insight into the link between two competing processes: gravity and feedback. Gravity is the force that animates the star trainingwhile the concurrent process, known as feedback, refers to the huge amounts of energy that large young stars introduce into their nearby environments to limit star growth.

The Tarantula Nebula is an area of ​​stars, gas and dust 600 light-years across. A light year is the distance light travels in one year – approximately 9.5 trillion kilometers.

The official name of the Tarantula Nebula is 30 Doradus. It is about 170,000 light years from Earth.

It’s called the Tarantula Nebula because its trajectories of gas, dust, and stars resemble the legs of a spider. The gaseous mixture of the nebula is very similar to that of the early universe: mainly hydrogen and helium.

The European Southern Observatory has released an image of the Tarantula Nebula showing thin clouds of gas that could be the remnants of larger ones. Scientists believe that large bursts of energy from large young stars may have torn the gas clouds apart.

Guido De Marchi was co-author of the research published in The Astrophysical Journal and presented the work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

“We see stars forming where there’s a lot of gas and dust available, and there’s definitely a lot of that in the Tarantula Nebula,” De Marchi said.

The researchers were aided by observations from the Chile-based ALMA telescope.

De Marchi explained that “stars form when clouds of gas collapse under their own gravity and the gas becomes denser and denser.”

He added that these gas clouds “Contract and reheat until the core is hot enough to start the stellar engine, a huge nuclear reactor.”

Huge means extremely large.

De Marchi said scientists believe that when very large stars – those 100 times larger than the sun – start to form, they release so much energy that they cut the fuel for more stars to form.

De Marchi added: “The beautiful observations of the Tarantula Nebula obtained with ALMA now show that where the gas is dense enough, it continues to fall…and new stars may continue to form. That’s interesting. and new.”

The process that De Marchi talked about is called feedback, in which large young stars release large amounts of energy in the form of photons and high-speed particles. the nebula composition led to the creation of particularly large stars, about 200 times more massive than our sun.

Tony Wong, the report’s lead writer, said the Tarantula Nebula is the most extreme feedback environment scientists can observe.

“One of the great mysteries of astronomy is why we are still able to witness star formation today,” Wong said.

He continued, “Observations with ALMA can shed light on what’s happening deep in the clouds and help us understand how gravity and feedback compete for influence to keep the rate of star formation below. control.”

I am John Russell.

Will Dunham reported this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English.


words in this story

training — nm something that is formed or created; act of forming or creating something

composition — nm the way something is put together or arranged

Contract -v. become smaller

stellar — adj. of or pertaining to the stars

photon — nm a tiny particle of light or electromagnetic radiation