Related topics: star formation · young stars

The stellar nurseries of distant galaxies

Star clusters are formed by the condensation of molecular clouds, masses of cold, dense gas that are found in every galaxy. The physical properties of these clouds in our own galaxy and nearby galaxies have been known for ...

Galaxies as 'cosmic cauldrons'

Star formation within interstellar clouds of gas and dust, so-called molecular clouds, proceeds very rapidly yet highly inefficiently. Most of the gas is dispersed by stellar radiation, revealing galaxies to be highly dynamic ...

Star formation in galactic centers

Stars form from the gas and dust in molecular clouds via a series of complex processes that are currently only partly understood, and the evolution of these clouds drives the evolution of the stellar populations in the universe. ...

Image: Cloudlets swarm around our local supermassive black hole

This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows the area surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that lurks at the centre of the Milky Way—highlighted here with a small circle. ...

Image: Herschel's view of the galactic centre

An odd-shaped formation of gas and dust at the centre of the Milky Way, captured by the far-infrared cameras on board ESA's Herschel space observatory. The nearly continuous strip of dense and cold clumps of material forms ...

How disc galaxies work

Disc galaxies like our own Milky Way, characterized by a flattened disc of stars and gas (often with a central bulge of material as well) have a wide range of masses, spatial extents, and stellar content. Nonetheless all ...

Exploring the dusty prehistory of the solar system

The solar system as we know it formed about 4.6 billion years ago as fields of interstellar dust orbiting the sun aggregated into planets and smaller objects. Presolar dust particles no longer exist in the inner solar system, ...

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