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Fraser
2006-Jun-29, 10:37 PM
Astronomers think that stars form inside collapsing clouds of cold hydrogen gas. This gas is mainly molecular hydrogen; where two hydrogen molecules are bonded together. These clouds are very difficult to see because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs much of the light that it radiates; however, another gas, carbon monoxide is always present as well, and can be observed easily from Earth. Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy have developed a detailed map of these star forming regions in the Andromeda galaxy.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/06/29/star-forming-regions-in-andromeda/)

Eric Vaxxine
2006-Jun-30, 01:06 PM
Is this Galaxy so bright in the middle because it has lots of mature/formed suns?

davimill
2006-Jun-30, 04:42 PM
Thanks for this very interesting article on star formation areas in the Andromeda Galaxy. The wavelength they selected for the photo really brings them out. However, a quibble: molecular hydrogen is two atoms (not molecules) of hydrogen bonded together.

Gerald Lukaniuk
2006-Jun-30, 06:54 PM
There seems to be little thought in astronomy about the actual dynamics of how gas and dust coalesce around a given point. They seem to be caught up in some romantic paradigm implying human like life processes using such corny phrases as birth, nursery, youth, evolution, rebirth, renewal, old age, death. Then this zarathustrian final thrust-the super nova. They are constantly expressing shock when observations push the boundaries of their cute little model then smugly push these phenomenon to within their borders,
It is evident that an unexpected process is occurring in star formation that implies new physics. Why gas and dust clouds do not simply fall together into one enormous mass, which subsequently explodes, and reforms is not addressed.. Organizations of stars and even galaxies frequently seem to follow chain of pearl or bubble configurations Analogies abound in nature and it is hard not to see the patterns reminiscent of seed crystals activating a saturated chemical solution. If a similar process occurs in space we probably now have sensitive enough equipment to look for peculiar photon emissions as matter falls into place.
We see lots of novas and supernovas, binary stars dwarfs and small stars. Most stars seem to be blowing matter away from them and are unlikely to grow. Yet somehow there is a variety of sizes. It seems to imply there is another force determining star formation than gravity.

selden
2006-Jun-30, 08:45 PM
Gerald,

Using colloquial words to name phenomena which are unrelated to the usual definitions of those words is common in the physical sciences. Using the word "charm" to name a particular quark characteristic is one obvious example. Other quark characteristics were once called "truth" and "beauty", but I guess that was just a little too much, since they're now called "top" and "bottom."

Also, I think you have overlooked several well known phenomena that seem to be precursors to new star formation. For example, interstellar clouds of gas and dust have very irregular densities, so they aren't going to contract to a single location. Also, near-spherical shockwaves generated by supernova explosions have a large effect on stellar formation.

jlhredshift
2006-Jul-01, 02:46 PM
The infrared seems to trace out the same zones as the CO plus the central part of the galaxy with, presumably, the population II stars. The resolution is not fine enough to distinguish adjacent zones of cold gas and warm dust. So, was the carbon formed in the central part of the galaxy and blown to the outskirts or was it produced insitu in the arms?

ioresult
2006-Jul-04, 01:59 PM
The caption for the image is wrong. The image on the left is not a "radar" image, it is a radio map. The radar technique implies bouncing radio waves on the observed object and picking up the echo. That would mean we're getting the echo of radar waves sent 4 million years ago!

antoniseb
2006-Jul-04, 02:39 PM
Amazing. Why didn't I catch that? You are right.

Fraser
2006-Jul-04, 03:45 PM
Oops, yeah. I'll fix that.