Herschel reveals a ribbon of future stars

March 30, 2016
Credit: ESA/Herschel/SPIRE/M. Juvela (U. Helsinki, Finland)

Star formation is taking place all around us. The Milky Way is laced with clouds of dust and gas that could become the nursery of the next generation of stars. Thanks to ESA's Herschel space observatory, we can now look inside these clouds and see what is truly going on.

It may seem ironic but when searching for sites of future , astronomers look for the coldest spots in the Milky Way. This is because before the stars ignite the gas that will form their bulk must collapse together. To do that, it has to be cold and sluggish, so that it cannot resist gravity.

As well as gas, there is also . This too is extremely cold, perhaps just 10–20 degrees above absolute zero. To optical telescopes it appears completely dark, but the dust reveals itselfat far-infrared wavelengths.

One of the surprises is that the coldest parts of the cloud form filaments that stretch across the warmer parts of the cloud. This image shows a cold cloud , known to astronomers as G82.65-2.00. The blue filament is the coldest part of the cloud and contains 800 times as much mass as the Sun. The dust in this filament has a temperature of –259ºC. At this low temperature, if the filament contains enough mass it is likely that this section will collapse into stars.

This image is colour-coded so that the longest infrared wavelength, corresponding to the coldest region, is shown in blue, and the shortest wavelength, corresponding to slightly warmer dust, is shown in red.

The field of view on display here is a little more than two times the width of the full Moon. It is one of 116 regions of space observed by Herschel as part of the Galactic Cold Cores project. Each field was chosen because ESA's cosmic microwave background mapper, Planck, showed that these regions of the galaxy possessed extremely cold dust.

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HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (6) Mar 30, 2016
Re: "One of the surprises is that the coldest parts of the cloud form filaments that stretch across the warmer parts of the cloud."

It's only a surprise for those who insist upon modeling these movements as a fluid. When these filaments are modeled as electric currents, THE RANDOM THERMAL MOVEMENT -- ITS TEMPERATURE -- IS MINIMIZED because the particles are all moving in a complex dance that is almost entirely coordinated by the fields that already existed, and which they themselves create as they move.

This confuses many otherwise intelligent people: Here on Earth, we necessarily associate electricity with a heating aspect. But, in space, it does not need to be so, and we can tell from simple observation of upper-atmospheric sprites (aka lightning to space). Currents can travel without any random thermal electron movements at all, just as these astronomers have noticed.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2016
It's only a surprise for those who insist upon modeling these movements as a fluid
@ha
you do know that plasma physics is taught to astrophysicists, right?
i've linked that to you before, so why do you continue to assume that all astrophysicists ignore plasma physics in the face of refuting evidence?

you actually think there are no plasma physicists in the cold cores project? etc?
This confuses many otherwise intelligent people
no, it doesn't, because a person who thinks critically will follow the evidence, not make conjectures based upon a faith and unproven pseudoscience like you are doing

just because you believe doesn't mean it's true
and repeating the lie does not add credibility to the claim

Steelwolf
1 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2016
The waveform shape to the filament is quite interesting as well, and with what appears to be a thin sheet of cold material 'following' the filament, it is possible that the filament is magnetic in nature and is another reason for the condensation of material along it's length. I have seen the same sort of formations along hot magnetic filaments, with stars forming in the sheet of material that condenses behind it, but had not seen the 'cold' version of the same type of process, now, I believe this to be a similar effect.
Da Schneib
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2016
And the ultimate convincing evidence that the EU is a bankrupt theory is that these dust clouds are far too cold to be plasma.
HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2016
Re: "And the ultimate convincing evidence that the EU is a bankrupt theory is that these dust clouds are far too cold to be plasma"

Can you please elaborate on why a field-aligned electric current would exhibit random thermal motions?
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2016
The dust in this filament has a temperature of –259ºC.
Am guessing this temperature is rising, and that it will keep rising at a rate that's a function of the filament's gravitational collapse, until the first stars begin to shine, at which time it will rise much faster; so the current temperature and mass distribution can be used to predict that time. Wouldn't be surprised if there's already a paper making the prediction (or showing how to make it for clouds of various sizes).

As an interesting aside, Microsoft could put that chat-bot here (provided it had access to all peer-reviewed articles, etc.), where it could answer guesses, rate posts, and learn how to properly profane the trolls. Lots of opportunities for the latter.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2016
The dust in this filament has a temperature of –259ºC.
Am guessing this temperature is rising, and that it will keep rising at a rate that's a function of the filament's gravitational collapse, until the first stars begin to shine, at which time it will rise much faster; so the current temperature and mass distribution can be used to predict that time. Wouldn't be surprised if there's already a paper making the prediction (or showing how to make it for clouds of various sizes).
Yeah, the ideal gas law says it has to rise: PV = nRT

V is falling, but P has to rise as the material becomes more concentrated, and neither n nor R is going to change any, so at the point when the pressure increase overwhelms the volume decrease the temperature will rise. This should be pretty simple to predict. It's prolly worth a search or two.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2016
A field-aligned current exhibits FEWER RANDOM ELECTRON MOTIONS, hence LOWER TEMPERATURE.

Is there some sort of disagreement over this? Please elaborate.
HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2016
Re: "Am guessing this temperature is rising, and that it will keep rising at a rate that's a function of the filament's gravitational collapse"

Ah, so it's another "chance" observation. But, the filaments are not considered chance observations.

And all of those exoplanetary systems which look nothing at all like our own are not chance observations.

Why invoke a chance observation when there is so little left of the textbook theory, to begin with?
HannesAlfven
1.4 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2016
What I find to be a blocker for gravitational collapse is stars forming along a filament all at once. The people here can imitate the other experts they see pretending that this is not important, as if it was predicted. But there is no doubt that if the geometry had been RADIAL and thus "correct", it would have "vindicated" the textbooks.

In this manner, since it does not corroborate, geometry is irrelevant.

So, we all just pretend that it is not a failure of the theory. Nobody says a word about it.

This is not people thinking. This is people imitating one another. This is precisely how epicycles form.

We like to think that only people from hundreds of years ago would ever construct epicycles, but we perceive the world through the lens of the theory. Until we learn another theory to compare it against, it is all we have.

Epicycles occur when people refuse to consider alternative ideas. It is not a matter of being ignorant.
Graeme
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2016
When the density rises more different molecules will form and the gas will become more opaque to infrared. So infrared emission will be more efficient and the gas can call faster. There will be some ions too, but these will add to the lines in the spectrum and make it more opaque and cool faster.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2016
This should be pretty simple to predict. It's prolly worth a search or two.
Well, for the more general case, i.e., within a cosmological framework, it's rather comprehensive :
Modeling galaxy formation in a cosmological context presents one of the greatest challenges in astrophysics today, due to the vast range of scales and numerous physical processes involved... Modelers seem to have converged on a core set of physical processes that are critical for shaping galaxy properties. This core set includes cosmological accretion, strong stellar-driven winds that are more efficient at low masses, black hole feedback that preferentially suppresses star formation at high masses, and structural and morphological evolution through merging and environmental processes...
Quoted from the abstract Physical Models of Galaxy Formation in a Cosmological Framework

cont'd >
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2016
> cont'd.

A bit more related to G82.65-2.00, I found in this paper also pertaining to galaxy formation models (submitted less than a month ago), the authors "... present predictions for stellar mass functions, stellar mass vs. SFR [star formation rate] relations, and cold gas phase and stellar mass-metallicity relations for our fiducial models ...": Star Formation in Semi-Analytic Galaxy Formation Models with Multiphase Gas
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2016
correction, submitted less than a *year* and a month ago, 2 Mar 2015, oops.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 02, 2016
EU? Makes sense to me. But I would never admit it.

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