Our galaxy’s star-forming rates are higher than earlier estimates, according to a recent study led by scientists at the University of Würzburg in Germany.
Astrophysicist Thomas Siegert of the University of Würzburg and colleagues led the research that disproves the conventional thinking that star creation is a stable process. The research was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics and is now available on the preprint server arXiv.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), stars are born within the clouds of dust and are scattered throughout most galaxies. A familiar example of such a cloud is the Orion Nebula. Turbulence deep within these clouds gives rise to knots with sufficient mass that the gas and dust can begin to collapse under their own gravitational attraction.
“As the cloud collapses, the material at the centre begins to heat up. Known as a protostar, it is this hot core at the heart of the collapsing cloud that will one day become a star.”
As per a Science Alert report, the Milky Way galaxy is thought to generate stars at a pace of about two suns’ worth of material per year, according to current estimations. Because the majority of Milky Way stars are much less massive than the Sun, this is expected to be six or seven stars per year on average.
According to a recent study, the stars that make up the mass of the sun are actually developing four to eight times annually. And if we counted the number of stars that are not as massive as the Sun, our galaxy would produce between 10 and 20 stars per year.
“The star formation rate is very important to understand for galaxy evolution,” said astrophysicist Thomas Siegert.