Astronomers witness birth of Milky Way's most massive star

Jul 10, 2013
a) Mid-infrared Spitzer composite image. b) Herschel column density image of SDC335. c) ALMA 3.2 mm dust continuum emission of the central region of SDC335 where two cores are identified, MM1 and MM2. Credit: A&A 555, A112 (2013)

(Phys.org) —Scientists have observed in unprecedented detail the birth of a massive star within a dark cloud core about 10,000 light years from Earth.

The team used the new ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) telescope in Chile – the most powerful radio telescope in the world – to view the stellar womb which, at 500 times the mass of the Sun and many times more luminous, is the largest ever seen in our galaxy.

The researchers say their observations – to be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics – reveal how matter is being dragged into the centre of the huge gaseous cloud by the of the forming star – or – along a number of dense threads or .

"The remarkable observations from ALMA allowed us to get the first really in-depth look at what was going on within this cloud," said lead author Dr Nicolas Peretto, from Cardiff University. "We wanted to see how monster stars form and grow, and we certainly achieved our aim. One of the sources we have found is an absolute giant—the largest protostellar core ever spotted in the Milky Way!

"Even though we already believed that the region was a good candidate for being a massive star-forming cloud, we were not expecting to find such a massive embryonic star at its centre. This cloud is expected to form at least one star 100 times more massive than the Sun and up to a million times brighter. Only about one in 10,000 of all the stars in the Milky Way reach that kind of mass."

Different theories exist as to how these massive stars form but the team's findings lend weight to the idea that the entire cloud core begins to collapse inwards, with material raining in towards the centre to form one or more massive stars.

Co-author Professor Gary Fuller, from The University of Manchester, said: "Not only are these stars rare, but their births are extremely rapid and childhood short, so finding such a massive object so early in its evolution in our Galaxy is a spectacular result.

Observations of the dark cloud SDC 335.579-0.292 using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) have given astronomers the best view yet of a monster star in the process of forming. A stellar womb with over 500 times the mass than the Sun has been found and appears as the yellow blob near the centre of this picture. This is the largest ever seen in the Milky Way -- and it is still growing. The embryonic star within is hungrily feeding on the material that is racing inwards. It is expected to give birth to a very brilliant star with up to 100 times the mass of the Sun. This image combines data from ALMA and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NRAJ/NRAO)/NASA

"Our observations reveal in superb detail the filamentary network of dust and gas flowing into the central compact region of the cloud and strongly support the theory of global collapse for the formation of ."

The University of Manchester hosts the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)-funded support centre for UK astronomers using ALMA, where the observations were processed.

Team member Dr Ana Duarte-Cabral, from the Université de Bordeaux, said: "Matter is drawn into the centre of the cloud from all directions but the filaments are the regions around the star that contain the densest gas and dust and so these distinct patterns are generated."

Dr Peretto added: "We managed to get these very detailed observations using only a fraction of ALMA's ultimate potential. ALMA will definitely revolutionise our knowledge of star formation, solving some current problems, and certainly raising new ones."

Explore further: Spectacular supernova's mysteries revealed

More information: 'Global collapse of molecular clouds as a formation mechanism for the most massive stars,' Astronomy & Astrophysics, www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/… 13/07/aa21318-13.pdf

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cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (14) Jul 10, 2013
reveal how matter is being dragged into the centre of the huge gaseous cloud by the gravitational pull of the forming star – or stars – along a number of dense threads or filaments.

The EM attraction of the Birkeland currents (BC) is 10^39 stronger than gravity, a stellar z-pinch will provide forces far more powerful than gravity. It's not even comparable. In PC and EU stars will form along these BC's, strangely that exactly what is observed.
"Our observations reveal in superb detail the filamentary network of dust and gas flowing into the central compact region..."

The filamentary and cellular nature of plasma driven by EM forces is what enables star formation, gravity takes a backseat in these processes.
Tuxford
1.3 / 5 (13) Jul 10, 2013
The most massive star in our galaxy is likely the core star, otherwise mis-known as the big bad black hole at the center.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (15) Jul 10, 2013
Oh, and the EM forces exerted by the BC is the longest range force law in the Universe. By far!
visionabler
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 10, 2013
So how old is this star? Is the gas still collapsing?
Fleetfoot
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2013
reveal how matter is being dragged into the centre of the huge gaseous cloud by the gravitational pull of the forming star – or stars – along a number of dense threads or filaments.

The EM attraction of the Birkeland currents ..


Currents don't produce any attraction directly and since this is an isolated cloud, there are no currents anyway.

(BC) is 10^39 stronger than gravity, a stellar z-pinch will provide forces far more powerful than gravity.


Nope, it produces no force at all.

"Our observations reveal in superb detail the filamentary network of dust and gas flowing into the central compact region..."

The filamentary and cellular nature of plasma driven by EM forces is what enables star formation, gravity takes a backseat in these processes.

Nope, the filaments are produced by gravity, it's called Jeans Instability.

http://en.wikiped...tability
Fleetfoot
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2013
Oh, and the EM forces exerted by the BC is the longest range force law in the Universe. By far!


Wrong again, currents are closed loops so at any significant distance, you get a force which is the sum of two opposing flows. That means it becomes a dipole effect which is inverse cube whereas gravity is inverse sqauare. Gravity always wins in the long run.
Fleetfoot
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2013
So how old is this star? Is the gas still collapsing?


At the moment the resolution isn't good enough to tell even if it's a single star or a group but future observations should be able to answer that question.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (16) Jul 10, 2013
You have a lot to change in your understand of Birkeland currents. Every statement you made is patently false. Try improving on the "superficial knowledge" of plasma you keep spouting off about.
thermodynamics
4 / 5 (4) Jul 10, 2013
You have a lot to change in your understand of Birkeland currents. Every statement you made is patently false. Try improving on the "superficial knowledge" of plasma you keep spouting off about.

Cantdrive:

Could you please point us at a mathematical description of the force law you are describing so we can educate ourselves? Since all of the Physics I have taken seems to differ from your description I must need to update my background. I learned from Jackson, and he seemed to think that Maxwell was a pretty source. I assume that Jackson's book on electrodynamics was sadly lacking and I would like to see where I was led astray. Thank you in advance.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2013
Here you go, enjoy.
http://electric-c...elds.pdf
Fleetfoot
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2013
Here you go, enjoy.
http://electric-c...elds.pdf


The problem is obvious if you look at figure 8. The basis of the analysis is that there is an immense current flowing through the star. That would mean that the ion flow was towards the star on one side and away from it on the other. In reality, the charged particle flow, in our case the solar Wind, is away from the Sun in all directions. Sometimes people get so caught up in the intricacies of an idea that they miss the obvious. Similarly, when considering the magnetic field predicted in the paper, nothing vaguely like this is measured by the Ulysses spacecraft.

The trick that once an analysis like this has been done, you look for tests capable of falsifying it, and if you find them, you try again. The psuedo-science cranks look for a few examples that superficially match and ignore all the evidence that shows it to be fantasy.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (12) Jul 10, 2013
You need to visualize it differently. The two "sides" of the flow would be through the poles. However, the magnetospheric circuit of the star controls the solar wind and the rest of the solar circuit.
This paper explains the necessary electron flow to power the sun:
http://electric-c...2013.pdf
If an analysis is done before the necessary data is collected to validate, how can one say with honesty that an accurate analysis has taken place? According to the latest data, the necessary elements are present.
Fleetfoot
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 11, 2013
You need to visualize it differently. The two "sides" of the flow would be through the poles.


You need to learn what measurements have been made:

http://en.wikiped...truments

Note that it measured both electrons and positive ions over both poles:

http://en.wikiped...rbit.jpg

However, the magnetospheric circuit of the star controls the solar wind and the rest of the solar circuit.


Magnetic effects only alter the direction, you still need the same net flow for a current.

This paper explains the necessary electron flow to power the sun:
http://electric-c...2013.pdf


ROFL, he's an idiot, the Sun does not have a ground return path so "cathode drop" is inappropriate, he should be calculating R*I^2 heating in the core.

I presume this is the same D. E. Scott who required a potential of less than 3kV in the previous paper you quoted, this time he claims it's "only" 500kV.
GSwift7
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 11, 2013
You need to visualize it differently


You are visualising rather than looking. Unfortunately, the sun is actually right outside, and we can actually go look at it, so there's no need to imagine what it might be like. We can actually see it, and it isn't anything like your imaginary system. Your proposals would be visible if they existed, but they do not so they are not. If you understood even a little of the basics, you'd know how silly your ideas are. Please stop polluting the world with your garbage. Go hang out on a sci-fi fan website and discuss fictional science with those guys.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 11, 2013
Note that it measured both electrons and positive ions over both poles:

? And....How is that a problem? Remember, this is plasma not a wire. As I said, you need to visualize it differently.

Magnetic effects only alter the direction, you still need the same net flow for a current.

This circuit "loop" is what "connects" the birkeland current at the stellar pinch;
http://www.holosc...cuit.jpg

ROFL, he's an idiot, the Sun does not have a ground return path so "cathode drop" is inappropriate

I know you only have "superficial" knowledge and due to the magnetofluid models used by solar physicists it is not possible to create DL's, but this is where real world application of plasma properties shant be ignored. DL's occur in plasma, despite your claims to the contrary.
And Jean's Instability?
http://www.aanda....emid=129
Fail!
barakn
5 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2013
Here. Let me show you a preview of how the rest of this conversation will go: http://phys.org/n...ury.html . Cantdrive85 will eventually claim that the heliospheric current sheet is the incoming electrons even though it is quasi-equatorial and the EU nutters claims the incoming electrons are polar, and despite the fact that the incoming electrons are dwarfed by outgoing electrons by a factor of 20,000,000 to 1. Cantdrive will then change the subject and start ranting about MHD.
Fleetfoot
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 13, 2013
Note that it measured both electrons and positive ions over both poles:

? And....How is that a problem?


The results show outward flows from both poles, your model requires outward on one but inward to the other.

Remember, this is plasma not a wire. As I said, you need to visualize it differently.


No problem, you just have to deal with both electrons and ions, the current is just the sum of the charge flows.

Magnetic effects only alter the direction, you still need the same net flow for a current.

This circuit "loop" is what "connects" the birkeland current at the stellar pinch;


In that diagram, the flow from the north pole is shown as outwards, in your previous claim, it was inwards. Make your mind up.

And Jean's Instability? ... Fail!


Read the last two sentences, the observations support Jeans Instability ("broader distribution of central Jeans lengths") plus a speed of sound effect in the cold gas as an inner, fine structure.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2013
The results show outward flows from both poles, your model requires outward on one but inward to the other.

You are claiming what you think the model requires, Alfven's model agrees with those observations. The two colors of the polar BC's implies ions and electrons are included in the circuit.

No problem, you just have to deal with both electrons and ions,

I know, it only adds more power to these currents, mwahahaha. Having ions flowing through the Sun as well greatly reduces the needed electrons to power it.

In that diagram, the flow from the north pole is shown as outwards, in your previous claim, it was inwards. Make your mind up.

I was referring to the alignment "through the poles", as a bead on a string. Then said; "the magnetospheric circuit of the star controls the solar wind and the rest of the solar circuit." There is certainly a polar current flow, the strong magnetic fields detected by Ulysses acknowledges that.

cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 13, 2013
And Jean's Instability? ... Fail!


Read the last two sentences, the observations support Jeans Instability ("broader distribution of central Jeans lengths") plus a speed of sound effect in the cold gas as an inner, fine structure.


Just can't get it done without the fudge factor, can we. Whether it's DM or an added "speed of sound effect" the standard theory always needs that little bit of extra "something", doesn't it? Here I thought jean's Instability was adequate in and of itself. Funny, there's no mention of the need of this "speed of sound effects" on the Wiki page.

Once again, filamentation is a naturally occurring phenomena in plasma, no fudge factors are needed. It's just plasma being plasma.
Fleetfoot
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 14, 2013
Read the last two sentences, the observations support Jeans Instability ("broader distribution of central Jeans lengths") plus a speed of sound effect in the cold gas as an inner, fine structure.


Just can't get it done without the fudge factor, can we. .. Here I thought jean's Instability was adequate in and of itself. Funny, there's no mention of the need of this "speed of sound effects" on the Wiki page.


Try looking up a page on shock waves, there's no reason it would be mentioned under a dfiffferent subject.

Once again, filamentation is a naturally occurring phenomena in plasma,


As it is in Jeans Instability. The difference is that the conventional theory predicts the width of the larger effect and the sound effect predicts the thinner detail to within a factor of 2 without the need for fantasy currents which are your "fudge factor".
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2013
Here is a paper describing the evidence for electric currents in space, the PC "fudge factor":

http://www.plasma...smic.pdf

It should also be known that two adjacent inhomogeneous plasmas will naturally create DL's, electric fields, and electric currents to neutralize the difference. This is what is observed in labs, since the 1920's.
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2013
This from Alfven's nobel speech:
"Before we concentrate on our main topic: how the solar system originated,
we should make a brief summary of the state of plasma physics. As you know,
plasma physics has started along two parallel lines. The first one was the
hundred years old investigations in what was called electrical discharges in
gases. This approach was to a high degree experimental and phenomenological, and only very slowly reached some degree of theoretical sophistication.
Most theoretical physicists locked down on this field, which was complicated
and awkward. The plasma exhibited striations and double-layers, the electron
distribution was non-Maxwellian, there were all sorts of oscillations and instabilities. In short, it was a field which was not at all suited for mathematically elegant theories.
(con't)
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2013
(con't)
The other approach came from the highly developed kinetic theory of
ordinary gases. It was thought that with a limited amount of work this field
could be extended to include also ionized gases. The theories were mathematically elegant and when drawing the consequences of them it was found that
it should be possible to produce a very hot plasma and confine it magnetically.
This was the starting point of thermonuclear research.
However, these theories had initially very little contact with experimental
plasma physics, and all the awkward and complicated phenomena which had
been treated in the study of discharges in gases were simply neglected. The
result of this was what has been called the thermonuclear crisis some 10 years
ago. It taught us that plasma physics is a very difficult field, which can only
be developed by a close cooperation between theory and experiments.
(con't)
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2013
(con't)
As
H.S.W. Massey once said (in a somewhat different context): " The human
brain alone is not able to work out the details and understanding of the inner
workings of natural processes. Without laboratory experiment there would
be no physical science today. "
The cosmical plasma physics of today is far less advanced than the thermonuclear research physics. It is to some extent the playground of theoreticians
who have never seen a plasma in a laboratory. Many of them still believe in
formulae which we know from laboratory experiments to be wrong. The
astrophysical correspondence to the thermonuclear crisis has not yet come
(con't)

And still, 45 years since this speech we are discussing the ideal gas laws of a failed theory.
It is also the reason the DOE largely employs IEEE plasma physicists (such as Dr. Peratt) for nuclear research, the theoretical astrophysical "plasma scientists" are lost in the woods discussing reconnection and frozen-in fields.
gwrede
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 14, 2013
"But everybody who has owned a Plasma Ball can clearly see that the plasma goes outward everywhere. So everybody else is wrong. Now there!"

"And what's IQ or rational thinking anyway? Or the scientific method? They only serve to cripple your thougt. A free mind can visualize and understand anything it wants without such hindrances."

I don't think everybody here is on the same chess board, so to say.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Jul 15, 2013
Here is a paper describing the evidence


It doesn't describe "evidence", it just gives a theoretical model.

for electric currents in space, the PC "fudge factor":

http://www.plasma...smic.pdf


Note the left of figure 1, "G" represents the generator which powers everything. Without that, there is no current and none of the effects described occurs. That's fine except that you said the generator was "metaphysics" IIRC. There is no generator in your models.

It should also be known that two adjacent inhomogeneous plasmas will naturally create DL's, electric fields, and electric currents to neutralize the difference. This is what is observed in labs, since the 1920's.


Only when they are powered by lab supplies. No lab has ever seen any of these effects in the absence of an external power source.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 16, 2013
Yes on Earth you must have a power supply to attain and keep material in the plasma state. In space there is no evidence to suggest plasma IS NOT the natural state, supported by the notion 99.99% of the visible Universe is in the plasma state. This from that "crank" employed by the DOE at LANL researching real plasma physics;
"In analysis, plasmas are far harder to model than solids, liquids, and gases because they act in a self-consistent manner. The separation of electrons and ions produce electric fields and the motion of electrons and ions produce both electric and magnetic fields. The electric fields then tend to accelerate plasmas to very high energies while the magnetic fields tend to guide the electrons. Both of these mechanisms, the accelerated (or fast) electrons and the magnetic fields produce what is called synchrotron radiation... Because of their self-consistent motions, plasma are rampant with instabilities, chaosity, and nonlinearities."

Plasmas create their own "G".
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Jul 16, 2013
Yes on Earth you must have a power supply to attain and keep material in the plasma state.


Like perpetual motion machines, keeping it in that state isn't a problem as long as you don't remove any energy. When you claim it magically creates currents which then produce heating to power stars, you remove energy which could only come from recombination into gas.

Plasmas create their own "G".


ROFLMAO, that's exactly the clueless nonsense that gets all such claims of "perpetual motion" generators treated with derision. Go ahead, demonstrate THAT in the lab, and you can get not only a patent but a Nobel prize.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (3) Jul 16, 2013
lolololol.

Keep him talking long enough and he ALWAYS says something dumb like that.

The really funny part is that he won't understand why it's dumb, even after you explain it to him.
cantdrive85
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 16, 2013
It's not a machine, just the physics of the charged particles in our Universe. It's pretty obvious the Universe is not homogeneous. You can claim the Universe is against the laws of physics, but there it is in all it's filamentary, cellular, and non-homogeneous glory. It's no different from the "perpetual machine" of thermodynamics which causes heat to go from hot to go to cold, charged particles have an action/reaction to nearby particles in which they are not in equilibrium. The electric and magnetic fields that arise in plasma from these action/reactions further complicate the interactions, a feedback loop scalable over many orders of magnitude. You keep trying to apply ideal gas laws to this plasma, it seems Langmuir chose the word plasma due to the self organizing life-like behaviour of the "ionized gases". There is nothing "life-like" with ideal gases.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2013
It's no different from the "perpetual machine" of thermodynamics which causes heat to go from hot to go to cold, ...


Except that you are claiming that the power then flows back from cold to hot again without any driving generator, a source of power to replace that radiated by the stars.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2013
The really funny part is that he won't understand why it's dumb, even after you explain it to him.


Yep, on the button.