Astronomers witness Multiple-Star System in Initial Stage of Formation

Astronomers witness Multiple-Star System in Initial Stage of Formation

Astronomers said that for the first time they have observed a multiple-star system in the first stages of its formation. According to scientists, they have studied a cloud of gas that is about 800 light-years from Earth.

The research team found details about a core of gas that has one young protostar and three dense condensations that according to the scientists will collapse into stars in the astronomically short period of 40,000 years.

“Seeing such a multiple-star system in its early stages of formation has been a longstanding challenge, but the combination of the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) has given us the first look at such a young system”, said Jaime Pineda of the Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

The scientists took help of the VLA and GBT in addition to the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in order to study a dense core of gas called Barnard 5 (B5) in a region where young stars are forming in the constellation Perseus. This object contains one young forming star.

The team of researchers made use of the VLA in order to map radio emission from methane molecules. It was found that filaments of gas in B5 are fragmenting and these fragments are starting to form into additional stars that will turn into a multiple-star system.

According to Pineda, it is known that these stars will ultimately turn into multi-star system because observations of the scientists show that these gas condensations are gravitationally bound. For the first time, the scientists have shown that these gas condensations are gravitationally bound.

Pineda said that this offers good evidence that fragmentation of gas filaments is a process through which multiple-star systems can be produced. Adding to it, Pineda also said that now they have convincingly included fragmentation of gas filaments to this list.


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