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ALMA image of the massive protostar G353.273 0.641. Comact emission around the central protostar, disk, and gaseous envelope are shown in red, yellow, and blue. Asymmetry in the disk is clearly shown with the high resolution ALMA observations. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Motogi et al.
Astronomers obtained the first detailed face-on view of a gaseous disk feeding the growth of a massive baby star. They found that it shares many common features with lighter baby stars. This implies that the process of star formation is the same, regardless of the final mass of the resulting star. This finding paves the way for a more complete understanding of star formation.
Protostar - Baby - Star - Process - Forming
A protostar, a baby star still in the process of forming, is fed by a surrounding disk of gas falling towards the center. The details of the process, such as why stars form with a wide range of masses, are still unclear. Low mass stars are being formed in the vicinity of the Solar System, allowing astronomers to see the process up-close. On the other hand, massive protostars are rare, and even the nearest are located quite far away from us.
Kazuhito Motogi, an assistant professor at Yamaguchi University, Japan, and his team used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe a massive protostar called G353.273+0.641 (hereafter G353). Located 5500 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius, G353 has a mass 10 times larger than the Sun, and is still growing. It is a unique target among massive protostars because we can see its gaseous disk from straight above....
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