Hefty Find: Density has starring role in making stars massive | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SCIENCE NEWS NEEDS YOU

Support nonprofit journalism

Subscribe now


News

Hefty Find: Density has starring role in making stars massive

By
11:30am, February 27, 2008

From their earliest moments, massive stars play the heavy. As infants, their fierce winds and harsh ultraviolet radiation tear away at the fragile gas clouds in which their lighter-weight cousins are born. Eventually, these behemoths explode, dumping vast amounts of energy into space along with an assortment of heavy elements.

Yet for all the drama, astronomers aren't quite sure how these rare, oversized stars form. Gas clouds—the material out of which all stars coalesce—typically divide into fragments much too small to make stars 10 to 100 times as massive as the sun.

In the Feb. 28 Nature, two

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content