Big Stellar Clusters in the Blue Dwarf Galaxy NGC 5253 (VLT + HST Composite Image) - ESO PR Photo 31a/04 (18 November 2004) Copyright: European Southern Observatory
Star formation is one of the most basic phenomena in the Universe. Inside stars, primordial material from the Big Bang is processed into heavier elements that we observe today. In the extended atmospheres of certain types of stars, these elements combine into more complex systems like molecules and dust grains, the building blocks for new planets, stars and galaxies and, ultimately, for life. Violent star-forming processes let otherwise dull galaxies shine in the darkness of deep space and make them visible to us over large distances.
Star formation begins with the collapse of the densest parts of interstellar clouds, regions that are characterized by comparatively high concentration of molecular gas and dust like the Orion complex (ESO PR Photo 20/04) and the Galactic Centre region (ESO Press Release 26/03). Since this gas and dust are products of earlier star formation, there must have been an early epoch when they did not yet exist. But how did the first stars then form? Indeed, to describe and explain "primordial star formation" - without molecular gas and dust - is a major challenge in modern Astrophysics.
A particular class of relatively small galaxies, known as "Blue Dwarf Galaxies", possibly provide nearby and contemporary examples of what may have occurred in the early Universe during the formation of the first stars. These galaxies are poor in dust and heavier elements. They contain interstellar clouds which, in some cases, appear to be quite similar to those primordial clouds from which the first stars were formed. And yet, despite the relative lack of the dust and molecular gas that form the basic ingredients for star formation as we know it from the Milky Way, those Blue Dwarf Galaxies sometimes harbour very active star-forming regions. Thus, by studying those areas, we may hope to better understand the star-forming processes in the early Universe.
Richard West | alfa
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy