Where are stars made? NASA's Spitzer spies a hot spot

The nebula known as W51 is one of the most active star-forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy. First identified in 1958 by radio telescopes, it makes a rich cosmic tapestry in this image from NASA's recently retired Spitzer ...

Magnetized gas flows feed a young star cluster

Observations of magnetic fields in interstellar clouds made of gas and dust indicate that these clouds are strongly magnetized, and that magnetic fields influence the formation of stars within them. A key observation is that ...

Stellar pulsations distribute key ingredient for life

As Carl Sagan famously said, "We're made of star stuff"—but how do stars distribute their essential "stuff" for life into space? NASA's telescope on an airplane, SOFIA, is finding some answers by watching pulsating stars ...

Large simulation finds new origin of supermassive black holes

Computer simulations conducted by astrophysicists at Tohoku University in Japan, have revealed a new theory for the origin of supermassive black holes. In this theory, the precursors of supermassive black holes grow by swallowing ...

Star formation project maps nearby interstellar clouds

Astronomers have captured new, detailed maps of three nearby interstellar gas clouds containing regions of ongoing high-mass star formation. The results of this survey, called the Star Formation Project, will help improve ...

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, ...

Image: Orion A in infrared

Stars form within giant clouds of gas and dust that pervade galaxies like our own Milky Way. This image depicts one such cloud, known as Orion A, as seen by ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories.

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