Spiraling filaments feed young galaxies

Galaxies grow by accumulating gas from their surroundings and converting it to stars, but the details of this process have remained murky. New observations, made using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) at the W. M. Keck Observatory ...

Why do massive (and not-so-massive) stars form?

The Milky Way Project: Probing Star Formation with a New Yellowball Catalog presents a study of 518 infant star-forming regions known as "Yellowballs," drawn from a catalog made possible by the efforts of citizen scientists. ...

Technique pulls interstellar magnetic fields within easy reach

A new, more accessible and much cheaper approach to surveying the topology and strength of interstellar magnetic fields—which weave through space in our galaxy and beyond, representing one of the most potent forces in nature—has ...

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 ...

Galaxy blazes with new stars born from close encounter

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a new look at the spectacular irregular galaxy NGC 4485, which has been warped and wound by its larger galactic neighbour. The gravity of the second galaxy has disrupted the ordered ...

Suppressed star formation in the early universe

Massive clusters of galaxies, some with more mass than a hundred Milky Way galaxies, have been detected from cosmic epochs as early as about three billion years after the big bang. Their ongoing star formation makes them ...

Explosions of universe's first stars spewed powerful jets

Several hundred million years after the Big Bang, the very first stars flared into the universe as massively bright accumulations of hydrogen and helium gas. Within the cores of these first stars, extreme, thermonuclear reactions ...

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Star formation

Star formation is the process by which dense parts of molecular clouds collapse into a ball of plasma to form a star. As a branch of astronomy star formation includes the study of the interstellar medium and giant molecular clouds (GMC) as precursors to the star formation process and the study of young stellar objects and planet formation as its immediate products. Star formation theory, as well as accounting for the formation of a single star, must also account for the statistics of binary stars and the initial mass function.

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