Science

Watch the best ever simulation of stars being born in a cosmic cloud

Astronomers have developed the most detailed simulation to date of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) – cosmic objects in which stars are born. The simulation reconstructs a highly realistic model of star formation, and hints that we may need to rethink our understanding of the process.

GMCs, sometimes referred to as stellar nurseries, are comprised primarily of hydrogen molecules. They are at least 10,000 time the mass of our Sun and are between about 15 and 650 light years wide. Within the cloud, hydrogen molecules can clump together. When these clumps reach a certain density, stars are formed.

While the basic process of star formation is well-understood, there are still many unknowns.

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