October 23, 2021

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They discovered a huge cavity in space. It will help explain how stars are formed

Astronomers analyzing a 3D map showing nearby molecular clouds have discovered a huge “cavity” in space. It is an empty spherical space several hundred light-years in diameter, surrounded by recognizable molecular clouds. The portal drew attention to the topic Phys.

Huge cavity in space

As the gate writes ScienceAlert, a cavity was discovered between the constellations Perzeus and Taurus at a distance of about 700 light-years. The cavity itself was created by a supernova explosion that exploded about 10 million years ago and extended to a distance of up to 500 light-years.

Bialy et al., ApJL, 2021

Dense clouds of cold gas and dust form around its surroundings, forming stars. These are the molecular clouds of these constellations, which indicate that on the “surface” of this giant bubble there are not only, but also a huge number of stars.

Scientists from the CfA (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) described a “bubble” detected in space in a study published in the journal. Astrophysical Journal LettersA description of how to analyze the 3D map of molecular clouds is published in a separate study published in the journal Astrophysical Journal.

Data from the Gaia Space Observatory, which has been diligently mapping our main galaxy for 8 years, has been used to study Persia and Taurus molecular clouds, as well as other clouds filled with dust and gas.

The data collected was analyzed in detail using a tool called “glue” by experts. It is a visual program that enables the creation of interactive 3D visualizations, which enables interested experts to assemble a 3D map of said molecular clouds.

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According to astronomer Catherine Zucker, despite the fact that we’ve been observing these gas and dust-filled clouds for decades, we don’t yet know what they really look like or the exact distance at which they lie.

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How did this cavity arise?

As for the “cavity” itself, scientists have two theories up their sleeve. In the first case, a massive supernova exploded at the core of this giant bubble, pushing all the gas out, creating the so-called Perseus-Taurus Supershell.

The latter was caused by several supernovae that exploded over millions of years, explains theoretical astrophysicist Shmuel Byala.

Simply put, according to Biale’s analysis 10 million years ago, a supernova exploded, sending a shock wave to all sides of the interstellar medium. It dislodged all the surrounding gas and dust, and remnants of this event still exist today in the form of molecular clouds.

In a new study, scientists analyzed and measured the shape and size of these clouds, discovering a huge cavity in space that resulted from this explosion.

The results also indicate that the Persian Molecular Cloud and the Taurus Molecular Cloud are not independent cosmological structures. Most likely, they both originated from the same shock wave.

The researchers also believe that the process also indicates how star formation began in molecular clouds.

“This proves that when a star dies, its supernova generates a chain of events that can eventually lead to the birth of new stars.” He cites the physics portal of theoretical astrophysicist Bialy.

According to Zucker, there are many different theories on how to “rearrange” gas in the clouds so that it begins to form stars. Astronomers have tested these theories several times in the past using various simulations. But now we finally have a real, non-simulated 3D rendering to help us compare our theories to observations.

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The researchers even published an interactive 3D model of this cavity, which is available on the website Harvard.