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Twin, Triple, and More: New Images Reveal Birth of Massive Stars

Photo from NASA Universe

The ALMA telescope in Chile confirmed that massive stars form in clusters. Astronomers found G333.23-0.06 producing binaries, triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets. These Nature Astronomy findings match star formation model predictions, advancing our understanding of stellar birth.

Photo from NASA Universe

Newborn Star Cluster Reveals Universe’s Big Births

The observations of G333.23-0.06 reveal the creation of several star systems in a vast star-forming area. Co-author Henrik Beuther of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Germany was excited about the findings, citing their support for high-mass star formation scenarios. This study sheds light on the birth of big stars, which shape the universe.

Before this discovery, stellar nurseries were dense and dusty, making it difficult to observe multiple star births. ALMA’s superior capabilities allowed scientists to see through these dusty clouds and photograph the new star cluster. This crowded star cluster, across 0.62 by 0.78 light-years, shows how ALMA’s radio antennas can overcome stellar nurseries’ imaging challenges.

The newborn stars in G333.23-0.06 lack dust and gas disks, indicating “core fragmentation.” In this process, enormous gas clouds collapse into dense centers, where smaller regions collapse to produce star groups. These models also imply that a small number of stars in such clusters may become more massive than our sun.

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New Research Reveals Insights into Massive Star Formation

To better understand star formation, MPIA lead author Shanghuo Li stressed the need for further star cluster research. About 50 star clusters, including some younger than G333.23-0.06, will be examined to learn about multiple star system formation and stellar birth.

This significant discovery verifies existing star formation ideas and sheds light on the intricate mechanisms that birth large stars in groups.

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