Friday, April 19, 2013

Sofia telescope reveals the mechanism of formation of massive stars

Researchers from the Stratospheric Observatory Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), made ​​the incredibly detailed images of a massive star, immersed in a dense cocoon of dust and gas.

This star is called G35.20-0.74, or simply G35. It is one of the most massive protostar known to scientists, and is located relatively close to Earth - at a space of 8,000 light years.

Until now, scientists believed that the formation of massive stars has complicated turbulent, chaotic conditions, the observed near the centers of star clusters, where young stars are formed. But the observations of G35 demonstrated that this giant star whose mass is more than 20 times the mass of our Sun, formed by the same mechanism as the star the size of the sun.

Observations G35 made ​​with a special camera mounted on board the airborne observatory SOFIA, a modified aircraft Boeing 747 SP, which is capable to rise up a telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters to a height of 13,700 feet, where the cosmic infrared radiation is not blocked almost Earth's atmosphere.

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