Astronomers published photos of the “fireworks” that they found in the star cluster G286.21 + 0.17. They noted that this is a cluster in the process of formation – a mosaic of more than 750 individual photographs taken with the ALMA telescope. This site is located at a distance of about 8 thousand light-years.
The ALMA telescope was able to record the movement of turbulent gas that collects in clusters, which later forms dense nuclei. Of these, individual stars appear.
The stars in the picture glow with infrared radiation – including a large group of stars flashing on one side of the cloud. Powerful winds and the radiation of the most massive stars tear-off molecular clouds, leaving faint bits of luminous and hot dust (in the animation they glow in red and yellow).
Researchers explained that this is a rare shot where you can see stars at various stages of formation. The telescope revealed about a thousand newly formed stars with a wide range of masses. In addition, ALMA showed that a much larger mass is present in a dense gas, which is just beginning to form new celestial bodies – this process can take a million years.
“We saw how dynamic and chaotic the process of star birth is,” said project co-author Jonathan Tan from Chalmers University in Sweden. “There are competing forces here: gravity and turbulence from the cloud on one side, and stellar wind and radiation pressure from young stars on the other.” It’s amazing that our Sun and planets were once part of such a cosmic dance”.