Thursday, 11 April 2013

Blue supergiant found born amongst chaotic conditions

Blue supergiant found born amongst chaotic conditions, Science Daily reported yesterday on a blue supergiant star discovered having formed under exotic conditions in the Virgo cluster.

Stars in stable galaxies like The Milky Way form under specific conditions, within stellar nurseries that occur inside shells of cold molecular gases. The particles within these cold gas clouds are not moving around very quickly, and local differences in density can cause them to begin to accrete. The accretions can gradually grow as mass increases, drawing in still more material, until the object becomes large enough to undergo fusion in its core, thus becoming a star.

However, the new blue giant formed in a tiny galaxy that is falling toward the center of the Virgo cluster at 1000 kilometers per second. It is being stripped of its molecular gas clouds as it falls. The stripped gas forms a 55,000 light year tail of molecular gas and plasma behind the galaxy,

It was previously believed that such conditions were inhospitable to star formation, but when Dr. Youichi Ohyama and Dr. Ananda Hota, the team of astronomers responsible for the study, looked closer, they found none of the tell-tale signs of star formation, but rather a point of light emitting winds of about 160 kilometers per second.

Comparing the new star's emissions to others nearby showed it is a blue supergiant in the last phase of its life-cycle. It will soon go supernova, obliterating itself i a spectacular explosion. This could give new insight into star formation under exotic circumstances.

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