(Mirror Daily, United States) – You probably know how stars disappear but if you’re wondering how they come to life you should know that star clusters gather strays to form new stars.
Large gatherings of glittering cosmic objects, also known as stars are called globular clusters. It was thought that these clusters contain start “born” more or less at the same time. However, a new research suggests that a cluster can actually contain more than one generation of stars. The research was conducted using observations by the Hubble Telescope.
They observed that large clusters are gathering gas from the outside and bring it inside the cluster to form new stars. It was previously thought that new stars were formed from the gas shed by initial stars inside the cluster. Discovering it is quite the opposite scientists have been taken by surprise.
In other words, instead of making their own babies, stellar clusters are actually adopting them, or at least the gas they will be made of.
The team of researchers has been observing the Magellanic Clouds, some young aged clusters found in nearby galaxies. Our galaxy also contains a few hundred of globular clusters, but they are considered to be quite old. The brightness of these cosmic objects is what it shows how old they are.
It looks like in the Magellanic Clouds, scientists have been able to observe stars formed about 1.4 billion years ago, another generation formed 890 million years ago, and a younger one from 450 million years ago.
The ones that actually manage to form these clusters and later attract gas from the outside are medium-sized stars that have a longer lifespan. On the other hand, the large stars live only about 10 million years and have rather “dramatic” ends, exploding in great supernovae and clearing out any gas or dust surrounding them.
The idea of clusters gathering interstellar dust was actually introduced back in 1952. However, it was not supported by evidence back then. Now, having the evidence, astronomers are certain about the way new generations of stars are formed and will be further observing the phenomenon, hopefully in other globular clusters as well. Maybe we will find out something new about the clusters in our galaxy too.
Image source: www.bing.com
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