A new study by scientists using China’s giant radio telescope has discovered that stars may be born much faster than previously expected.
Chinese astronomers used Spherical telescope with aperture five hundred meters (FAST), the world’s largest radio telescope, to probe the magnetic field inside a molecular cloud called Lynds 1544. Located in TaurusAbout 450 light-years from Earth, Lynds 1544 is a gravitational region because it appears to be right on the verge of birth. star.
Astronomers have previously measured the magnetic field inside the densest part of the cloud, where the nascent progenitor star resides, using Arecibo . Observatorya giant radio telescope in Puerto Rico, before it infamously collapsed in 2020. They also probed for thinner regions at the edge of the cloud. FAST measurements now focus on the midsection; part of the previous information is missing.
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Measurements show that the magnetic fields in these regions are 13 times weaker than predicted by theoretical models, the researchers say. in a statement. That means the magnetic field isn’t strong enough to hold back the collapsing matter, and nuclear fusion will ignite inside the ever denser sphere of matter much faster than previously expected. this. Nuclear fusion is what powers living stars including Sun.
“If standard theory worked, the magnetic field would need to be much stronger to combat a 100-fold increase in cloud density. That didn’t happen,” said Di Li, FAST principal scientist who led the study. save, say. Science.
The discovery could revolutionize star formation theory, but the scientists warn that measurements of other star-forming clouds will first have to yield similar results.
Paola Caselli from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, who was not involved in the study, told Science: “If this is proven to be the case for other gas clouds, it will be revolutionary for star-forming community. “The paper basically says that gravity wins out in the cloud: That’s where stars start to form, not in the dense core. That’s a huge claim.”
The FAST telescope, with its 1,600-foot (500-meter) diameter disk, significantly larger than the 1,000-foot (305 m) Arecibo, has held the record as the world’s largest radio telescope for 53 years. FAST takes the title as The world’s largest radio telescope in 2016.
The international radio astronomy community feels very lost about Arecibo. But in December 2020, China announced that will open FAST for international scientists. The FAST telescope is located inside a natural crater in Guizhou province, southwestern China. Its massive disc is made of thousands of triangular plates, each of which can be manipulated to allow the telescope to focus on different targets, BBC reported in 2016.
The new research was published in the journal Nature on January 5.
https://www.space.com/stars-might-form-faster-than-expected Stars may form much faster than expected, new study suggests