Lab re-creation of feeding process will help better calculate how fast stars grow
A plasma cocoon lets growing stars keep their X-rays to themselves. Laboratory experiments that mimic maturing stars show that streams of plasma splash off a star’s surface, forming a varnish that keeps certain kinds of radiation inside.
That coating could explain a puzzling mismatch between X-ray and ultraviolet observations of growing stars, report physicist Julien Fuchs of École Polytechnique in Paris and colleagues November 1 in Science Advances.
Physicists think stars that are less than 10 million years old grow up by drawing matter onto their surfaces from an orbiting disk of dust and gas. Magnetic fields shape the incoming matter into columns of hot, charged plasma. The same disk will eventually form planets (SN Online: 11/6/14), so knowing