Star formation is the process by which dense regions within molecular clouds in interstellar space, commonly referred to as "stellar nurseries", collapse into spheres of plasma to form stars. 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.
Our solar system appears to exist inside a “bubble”, inside a network of cavities inside the interstellar medium, which was probably created by massive star explosions millions billions of years ago. Interstellar medium (ISM) is a term coined for the matter that exists in galaxies, between solar systems. This matter includes gas in ionic, atomic, [...]
The process of starbirth is a beautiful yet violent one; newborn stars spew material into the surrounding gas, creating surreal photos, often with glowing bulbs, arcs or streaks. This kind of picture is always spectacular, and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) managed to catch quite a few of them on camera, delighting astronomers and the [...]