November 14th 2016
An outburst from a massive star in formation produced due to the sudden intake of material coming from its accretion disk, has been detected for the very first time.
This discovery is the most solid evidence so far that high mass stars are formed through a similar process to that which gives rise to the low mass ones.
Stars with low mass, like the Sun, are formed from big fragments of clouds of gas and dust, which condense until a central object, or proto star, is formed, growing it up by absorbing gas from a surround disk, and expelling the surplus material through a couple of jets located on both poles. However, it was not known if the most massive stars, with tens of the Sun mass, are formed through the same mechanism. The study of an outburst detected on the massive star in formation NIRS 3, and published today in Nature Physics, has provided the most solid evidence that, in effect, all stars are formed the same.