2019
September
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Big baby stars grow the same way as small baby stars

The protostellar object, G353.273+0.641, which is located 5500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpio, is still a baby. It ignited only around 3000 years ago; astronomically, that is an extremely short amount of time. Nevertheless, G353 is already ten-times heavier than the Sun, and it’s still growing.

For the first time, researchers were able to catch a direct glance from above of such a massive protostar and its surroundings using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). In this way, they were able to determine that apparently size doesn’t matter. G353, in any case, acts no different than other lighter baby stars. As a protostar, it is surrounded by a dust disk, the protoplanetary disk, which is, in turn, fed by a gas cloud that surrounds the entire system.

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Structures in the cosmic mist

The Milky Way has existed for at least 13 billion years. Since then, it has continued to produce more and more new stars; one generation gives way to the next. To do this, it needs gas – more than it contains itself. That applies to all other galaxies too. But where do the Milky Way, Andromeda, and their like find more gas? In the intergalactic medium, which, at first glance, looks like just empty space between the galaxies.

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