Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Searching for the biggest stars in the universe

08.06.2005


Of the billions of stars in the universe, the most massive play a crucial role but are the least understood. A major Leeds-led project is searching the skies to locate these elusive stars, and help us understand more about how the galaxies work.



“We know how big stars end – they explode as supernova and can form black holes – but we know little about how they’re formed,” explains Dr René Oudmaijer in physics and astronomy. “These stars play an important role in the evolution of galaxies by injecting large amounts of enriched material and energy back into the interstellar medium and powering spectacular phenomena like stellar winds and supernovae.

“Their strong radiation can evaporate the dusty particles that grow into planets, preventing new ones forming or perhaps even destroying them.”


Studies into these immense stars in their early years (up to a million years old) have been hampered by a lack of examples. The five-year project – the RMS survey – due to finish early next year will change that. “A good massive star is hard to find, said Dr Oudmaijer. “Before we started, only 20 of these stars had been discovered accidentally, and were therefore not representative of their class. We now have hundreds of good candidates to focus on.”

Tracing the stars is particularly challenging because they’re often hidden in the immense dust and gas clouds out of which they are formed. The astronomers have been using advanced infra-red technology and world-class telescopes across Europe, Asia, China, Australia, the USA, Hawaii and Chile to track potential candidates and confirm which are the genuine article.

The team, which also includes astronomers from Liverpool John Moores, the Purple Mountain observatory in China and the Australian University of New South Wales, hope their findings will shed light on how these elusive stars form and influence their environment and neighbouring planets.

Claire Jones | alfa
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/508/s5.htm

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>