A new theory for star formation

May 2, 2018 – By Max Morgan

A new theory for star formation

A new theory for star formation

According to the recent observation, there are gaps in the existed theory of star formation. Scientists using powerful radio telescope Atacama Large Millimetre in Chile made a discovery that does not go well with actual star-forming theory.


For now, one of the main questions in stars’ astrophysics is to understand why stars have different masses. It links to the evolution, color, and brightness as well. The theory was developed and described as astrophysical law by Edwin Salpeter in 1955.

Star is formed from nebulae, which are clouds of dust and gas. The material there begin to gather in pockets and gets warmer and pressure with each other until the time when the star is formed. These clumpy areas are star-forming cores.

Previously, scientists believed that a number of stars had different masses when they were born, called initial mass function, which is linked to the distribution of mass to the star-forming cores or core mass function. However, this theory was made by the research of nebulae close to our solar system, and it couldn’t show the diverse picture of the whole galaxy star formation areas.

The team of astronomers from Grenoble Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics and Universite Paris Diderot Modelling Laboratory worked together to study star-forming cores on bigger distance from a solar system. They looked on W43-MM1 region, which is in 180 000 light years from our planet.

They have found out that this region has a surplus of massive cores and less small cores than it was previously expected.

Scientists have published all results in Nature Astronomy.

The head author of this study, French scientists Frederique Motte from Grenoble Alpes Universite, says that their finding challenges theory on tight link between initial mass function and core mass function.

The new study also questions whether the initial mass function can be universal at all.

Motte says that massive stars numbers can vary in different galactic environments.

In their plans to study 15 more regions in the universe to see whether they can make conclusions from the research.

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