Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsStar Formation
IN THE NEWS

Star Formation

FEATURED ARTICLES
SCIENCE
November 1, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Is it time for an intervention of galactic proportions? Astronomers say they've caught the Milky Way popping pills - giant capsules of gas clouds encapsulated in magnetic fields that are hovering around the fringes of our galaxy. The findings, described in Astrophysical Journal, could help explain how the galaxy has been fueling new star growth. The Smith Cloud is a cloud of hydrogen gas discovered by and named after Gail Bieger (née Smith) that's hurtling toward our galaxy at roughly 73 kilometers per second.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
November 1, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Is it time for an intervention of galactic proportions? Astronomers say they've caught the Milky Way popping pills - giant capsules of gas clouds encapsulated in magnetic fields that are hovering around the fringes of our galaxy. The findings, described in Astrophysical Journal, could help explain how the galaxy has been fueling new star growth. The Smith Cloud is a cloud of hydrogen gas discovered by and named after Gail Bieger (née Smith) that's hurtling toward our galaxy at roughly 73 kilometers per second.
Advertisement
NEWS
December 6, 1990 | LEE DYE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The first discovery by any of the four telescopes aboard the space shuttle Columbia has confirmed a 25-year-old pet theory developed by the chief scientist for one of the other telescopes on the mission. That was one of the bright spots Wednesday as the Astro observatory continued to struggle against problems that are robbing it of irreplaceable viewing time.
SCIENCE
October 23, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Just 700 million years after the big bang, our most distant known galaxy was a cauldron of star production, churning out new suns hundreds of times faster than our own Milky Way galaxy, scientists say. But it was only this spring, roughly 13 billion years later, that astronomers first glimpsed evidence of this ferocious activity and confirmed the distance and age of the galaxy now designated as z8_GND_5296. In a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature, researchers said discovery of the galaxy suggested our early universe was capable of far more star production than previously believed.
SCIENCE
August 30, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
What do you see in the ethereal photo above? An electric blue caterpillar? A wispy tadpole? How about a star struggling to be born? The image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a star 4,500 light-years from Earth trying to form in the face of a powerful stellar wind. The glowing white head of the caterpillar shape is the core of the protostar. This is where the nuclear process has just begun, allowing the dense collection of gas, plasma and dust to shine with its own light, explains Zolt Levay of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 1987
An immense celestial cloud is collapsing upon itself and giving birth to giant stars, confirming a classic theory of how stars are created, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. In a report being published today in Science magazine, they said at least a dozen stars already have formed in a huge ring at the core of the gas cloud known as W49A. Others are still being formed.
SCIENCE
November 11, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
For the first time, astronomers have discovered clouds of pristine gas in the distant universe about 12 billion light-years away. The finding offers a peek at what primordial gas looked like just a few minutes after the big bang, before heavier elements formed — a time when star formation was very different than it is today. The gas clouds, which appear — surprisingly — to have survived for about 2 billion years after the big bang almost 14 billion years ago, were discovered through looking at the light from distant quasars, some of the brightest objects in the universe.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
A newly discovered cluster of galaxies, more than 5 billion light years from Earth, may help astronomers understand a basic, but vexing, question about our universe: How do galaxies spawn their stars? Cluster SPT-CLJ2344-4243 is among the most massive clusters of galaxies in the universe, and produces X-rays at a rate faster than any other known cluster. It also creates new stars at an “unmatched” pace of more than 700 per year, said Michael McDonald, a Hubble fellow at MIT and lead author of a paper detailing the cluster's properties, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature . “This extreme rate of star formation was unexpected,” he said during a NASA news conference Wednesday, noting that the Milky Way forms just one or two stars a year.
SCIENCE
November 2, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
An international team of astronomers has discovered a distant star that could date to the beginning of the universe. Astronomers reported in Thursday's edition of Nature that the giant star is a galactic rarity because it is virtually metal-free, unlike the other, more-modern known stars. "These old stars provide crucial clues to the star formation history and the synthesis of chemical elements in the early universe," astronomers said.
NEWS
January 11, 1993 | MARK A. STEIN, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Infant stars swaddled in dust have been discovered as they emerge from a dark interstellar gas cloud, giving scientists a new model of stellar formation and suggesting that sunlike stars are born with the raw materials for planets. The stars described by astronomers last week are among the youngest ever photographed, and were found by using a sensitive new infrared instrument able to penetrate the veil of dark gas and debris that blocks the view of forming stars.
SCIENCE
August 30, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
What do you see in the ethereal photo above? An electric blue caterpillar? A wispy tadpole? How about a star struggling to be born? The image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a star 4,500 light-years from Earth trying to form in the face of a powerful stellar wind. The glowing white head of the caterpillar shape is the core of the protostar. This is where the nuclear process has just begun, allowing the dense collection of gas, plasma and dust to shine with its own light, explains Zolt Levay of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
SCIENCE
June 4, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
The dying dwarf galaxy you see above, with a stream of fireballs trailing in its wake, is not big, but it is bright, and it is relatively nearby.  It's name is IC 3418 and you'll find it deep in the Virgo Cluster -- a mass of about 1,000 galaxies not far from the smaller cluster of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way.  Galaxy IC 3418 is dying because most of its gas has blown away and galaxies need gas to keep forming stars. In the language of astronomy, a galaxy that is no longer forming stars is a galaxy that is dead.
SCIENCE
March 29, 2013 | By Amina Khan
The world's most powerful radio telescope helped show that the universe's star-forming engines were revved up far earlier than once believed - before it was even fully built. That same telescope in the Chilean desert may soon also help scientists understand the detailed structure of dark matter in the universe. Researchers who discovered the early abundance of what are known as starburst galaxies, described earlier this month in Nature, will be chatting about their findings at a Kavli Foundation Google hangout at 12 p.m. Pacific time Friday in the window above. (Ask questions via Twitter #KavliAstro or by emailing info@kavlifoundation.org .)
SCIENCE
September 6, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
An unusual pair of galaxies travel through the interstellar cosmos in this striking image obtained by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The unusual pair are jointly called Arp 116, but are composed of a large elliptical galaxy known as M60 and a smaller spiral galaxy called NGC 4647. The pair lies in the Virgo cluster of galaxies, where M60 is the third brightest object. It has a diameter of 120,000 light-years and a mass about 1 trillion times that of the sun. A massive black hole with a mass of about 4.5 billion times that of the sun lies at its center.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
A newly discovered cluster of galaxies, more than 5 billion light years from Earth, may help astronomers understand a basic, but vexing, question about our universe: How do galaxies spawn their stars? Cluster SPT-CLJ2344-4243 is among the most massive clusters of galaxies in the universe, and produces X-rays at a rate faster than any other known cluster. It also creates new stars at an “unmatched” pace of more than 700 per year, said Michael McDonald, a Hubble fellow at MIT and lead author of a paper detailing the cluster's properties, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature . “This extreme rate of star formation was unexpected,” he said during a NASA news conference Wednesday, noting that the Milky Way forms just one or two stars a year.
SCIENCE
July 26, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Like celebrities who never travel without a companion, the brightest stars in the universe generally have their own companion: a second star that orbits close by. At least three-quarters of these extremely bright, exceptionally hot stars have such companions, according to the first survey of so-called O-type stars. An estimated 20% to 30% of the binary pairs will eventually merge, astronomers reported Thursday in the journal Science, and as many as another 50% of the O-type stars will have much of their hydrogen stripped away by their companions, which are commonly called vampire stars.
NEWS
October 22, 1997 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The Hubble Space Telescope has peered into the heart of a colossal collision between two galaxies for a close-up view of the debris of a head-on wreck: at least 1,000 clusters of newborn stars. The brightest clusters may contain up to a million stars each. This burst of creation inside the core of the galactic crackup offers stark evidence for astronomers' growing belief that the universe is a violent place.
SCIENCE
September 6, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
An unusual pair of galaxies travel through the interstellar cosmos in this striking image obtained by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The unusual pair are jointly called Arp 116, but are composed of a large elliptical galaxy known as M60 and a smaller spiral galaxy called NGC 4647. The pair lies in the Virgo cluster of galaxies, where M60 is the third brightest object. It has a diameter of 120,000 light-years and a mass about 1 trillion times that of the sun. A massive black hole with a mass of about 4.5 billion times that of the sun lies at its center.
SCIENCE
November 11, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
For the first time, astronomers have discovered clouds of pristine gas in the distant universe about 12 billion light-years away. The finding offers a peek at what primordial gas looked like just a few minutes after the big bang, before heavier elements formed — a time when star formation was very different than it is today. The gas clouds, which appear — surprisingly — to have survived for about 2 billion years after the big bang almost 14 billion years ago, were discovered through looking at the light from distant quasars, some of the brightest objects in the universe.
SPORTS
July 12, 2011 | By Bill Shaikin
Reporting from Phoenix — The players might not like the All-Star game determining home-field advantage in the World Series, but the president of Fox Sports wonders what the fuss is all about. "It's not Armageddon," Ed Goren said Tuesday. In eight years since Fox influenced baseball to link the result of the All-Star game to the World Series, the team with the home-field advantage has won the Series five times. That hardly constitutes unfairness, Goren said, and so he would like to stick with an All-Star game format in which he sees more of such plays as the stolen base and hit-and-run.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|