Study reveals one of universe's secret ingredients for life

November 21, 2018 by Will Wright, Australian National University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new study led by ANU has investigated the nature of a cosmic phenomenon that slows down star formation, which helps to ensure the universe is a place where life can emerge.

Lead researcher Dr. Roland Crocker from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said the research team studied a particular way provide a counter-pressure to gravity that slows down the process.

"If star formation happened rapidly, all stars would be bound together in massive clusters, where the intense radiation and supernova explosions would likely sterilise all the planetary systems, preventing the emergence of life," he said.

"The conditions in these massive star clusters would possibly even prevent planets from forming in the first place."

The study found that ultraviolet and optical light from young and spreads out into the gas from which the stars have recently formed and hits cosmic dust, which then scatters infrared light that acts effectively as a kind of pressure that pushes against gravity.

"The we studied occurs in galaxies and star clusters where there's a lot of dusty gas that is forming heaps of stars relatively quickly," Dr. Crocker said.

"In galaxies forming stars more slowly—such as the Milky Way—other processes are slowing things down. The Milky Way forms two new stars every year, on average."

Other in our vicinity and elsewhere in the universe continuously form new stars at a relatively slow and steady rate.

Dr. Crocker said the study's mathematical findings indicated the phenomenon set an on how quickly stars can form in a galaxy or giant gas cloud.

"This and other forms of feedback help to keep the universe alive and vibrant," he said.

"We are investigating other ways stars might feed back into their environment to slow down the overall rate of star formation."

Professor Mark Krumholz and Dr Dougal Mackey from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Professor Todd Thompson from Ohio State University in the United States and Associate Professor Holger Baumgardt at the University of Queensland contributed to the study, which was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Explore further: Old star clusters could have been the birthplace of supermassive stars

More information: Roland M Crocker et al. Radiation pressure limits on the star formation efficiency and surface density of compact stellar systems, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2659

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torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2018
After a quick browsing: the paper seems to say that the initial radiation/matter balance drives habitability.

FWIW, that could possibly be more evidence for a multiverse, since the balance is finely tuned to leave some matter after hot big bang matter/antimatter annihilation.
The Prof
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2018
There are none so blind as those who cannot, SEE! (Proverbs.)
FredJose
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2018
The study found that ultraviolet and optical light from young and massive stars spreads out into the gas from which the stars have recently formed and hits cosmic dust, which then scatters infrared light that acts effectively as a kind of pressure that pushes against gravity.

This is just hilarious but also sad!!!
They are now using the precise reason that stars CANNOT form by themselves in the first place ( the Jeans Mass Limit ) to say that it is also responsible for the emergence and continued existence of life!!!!
The mixed up reasoning is just absurd. Stars cannot form by themselves because the internal pressure from heat build-up prevents gravitational collapse to trigger fusion. So they then latch onto dark matter as a way to provide the required cooling so the gas can contract and finally reach the required tipping point to trigger fusion. Now they classify the original problem as a solution that allows life to exist. Bizarre!

jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2018
The study found that ultraviolet and optical light from young and massive stars spreads out into the gas from which the stars have recently formed and hits cosmic dust, which then scatters infrared light that acts effectively as a kind of pressure that pushes against gravity.

This is just hilarious but also sad!!!
They are now using the precise reason that stars CANNOT form by themselves in the first place ( the Jeans Mass Limit ) to say that it is also responsible for the emergence and continued existence of life!!!!
The mixed up reasoning is just absurd. Stars cannot form by themselves because the internal pressure from heat build-up prevents gravitational collapse to trigger fusion. So they then latch onto dark matter as a way to provide the required cooling so the gas can contract and finally reach the required tipping point to trigger fusion. Now they classify the original problem as a solution that allows life to exist. Bizarre!



Clown.

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