The cosmic commute towards star and planet formation

The molecular gas in galaxies is organized into a hierarchy of structures. The molecular material in giant molecular gas clouds travels along intricate networks of filamentary gas lanes towards the congested centers of gas ...

Stardust from red giants

Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established. They have also explained why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, ...

The initial mass function

The gas and dust in giant molecular clouds gradually come together under the influence of gravity to form stars. Precisely how this occurs, however, is incompletely understood. The mass of a star, for example, is by far the ...

Chandra peers into a nurturing cloud

In the context of space, the term 'cloud' can mean something rather different from the fluffy white collections of water in the sky or a way to store data or process information. Giant molecular clouds are vast cosmic objects, ...

Hidden secrets of Orion's clouds

This spectacular new image is one of the largest near-infrared high-resolution mosaics of the Orion A molecular cloud, the nearest known massive star factory, lying about 1350 light-years from Earth. It was taken using the ...

The Milky Way's central molecular zone

The center of our Milky Way galaxy lies about 27,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius. At its core is a black hole about four million solar masses in size. Around the black hole is a donut-shaped ...

Image: Spokes in Serpens Core

The interstellar medium fills the 'empty' space between the stars in our galaxy. It is a mix of molecular clouds, cold and warm gases, regions of electrically charged hydrogen, and more.

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