Dense, Starless Cloud Cores Reveal Why Some Stars are Massive

December 21, 2013 4:10 PM

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Dense, Starless Cloud Cores Reveal Why Some Stars are Massive

Some stars can be massive while others remain more around the size of our own Sun or even smaller. Now, astronomers may have discovered exactly why some stars grow so large. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, they've peered at the cores of some of the darkest, coldest and densest clouds in our galaxy.

Stars form at the hearts of these dark clouds, known as Infrared Dark Clouds. In this case, the astronomers spotted clouds located about 10,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellations of Aquila and Scutum. Since these cloud cores are so massive and dense, gravity should have already ...

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