Friday, April 03, 2015

a star is born

It's about time!

When we look around ourselves, in our galaxy, we see stars and stuff. For a long time, we have refined our understand of stellar lifecycles.

A good number of interesting objects are planetary nebulae, i.e. the remnants of dead stars. And, of course, we regularly see old stars popping off, as novae or supernovae. I don't know if we've caught one of these events in action but we're close. One day, all is normal; the next day, something exploded. And lots of telescopes get aimed at the event to gather lots of data. New detectors might helped us aim before the explosions begin.

My impression has been that of late is that we have had a great deal of success finding what appear to be new systems, solar systems beginning to form, discs of spinning dust and gas. The structures within the Eagle Nebula and the Carina Nebula are fascinating and harbour evaporating gaseous globules.

Still, I don't think we've seen any ignition events. It would be very exciting to see a swirling proto-solar-system, with a very dense hot object at the centre, suddenly turn on, light up, trigger.

I stumbled across the BBC article Star's birth glimpsed 'in real time' which reports on before and after radio telescope data showing a massive star being born. The magnetic signature is also rather telling. Hopefully object W75N(B)-VLA2 will surrender more secrets.

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