Unraveling the mystery of the birth of a triple star |  Urania

An international team of scientists used the ALMA radio telescopes to observe the young triple star system. Structures that power newborn stars have been identified.

Stars do not always appear singly. On the contrary – more than half of them are created as components multiple systems. However, how these multiple stars form is a mystery that scientists have been trying to solve for a long time. Understanding how multiple stars form is also important for a comprehensive theory of star formation. To date, many scenarios for the formation of multiple systems have been proposed, but there is no consensus on how they are formed. If we are to better understand the processes that make up these systems, direct observations of the birth of many may be necessary proteogazedusing instruments of high resolution and sensitivity, for example, the ALMA network of radio telescopes (large atacama group (millimeter/square meter).

Recently, scientists observing these young stars noticed something interesting. They saw structures made of gas, which they called “streams.” These cosmic rivers flow and carry the necessary materials directly towards the protostars. Observing such jets is crucial because they show how protostars consume gas to grow, but how they form remains unclear. Gas flows around multiple protostar systems are expected to be very complex in structure, and detailed, high-resolution observations, such as those obtained from ALMA, are a powerful tool for studying the origin of the flows.

A team of scientists used radio telescopes Alma to monitor radio waves emitted by sulfur oxide (SO) particles around the young IRAS 04239+2436 multiplex system. IRAS 04239 + 2436 is a tertiary system prime located around 460 light years from U.S. The team expected to detect sulfur dioxide molecules in the region of the shock waves and to observe the rapid movement of gas around the protostar. As a result of these observations, these particles have already been detected around the protostar system. The scientists also found that the distribution of SO molecules there creates large spiral arms, which extend up to 400 feet Astronomical units. Moreover, they succeeded in calculating the velocity values ​​of SO-containing gas from the observed radio frequency change caused by Actually doppler.

Based on the analysis of the motion of the stars, it was found that the spiral arms tracked by the SO particles are actually jets flowing towards the triple protostar system. The most profound feature of our ALMA images are the large, well-defined multi-arm structures detected in SO2 emissions. – said the professor. Jeong-Eun Lee of the Seoul National Institute explains the importance of this discovery. My first impression was that these structures seemed to dance together as they orbited the central protostar system, although we later discovered that the spiral arms are conduits for material feeding young stars.

In order to study the motion of the gas in more detail, a team of scientists compared the actual gas velocity with the results of numerical simulations. This simulation modeled the formation of many stars in the host gas cloud. Simulations were performed using ATERUI supercomputers ATERUI II, specially adapted to the needs of astronomy, is in operation at the Computational Astrophysics Center of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). As a result of the simulation, three stars are observed forming within the gas cloud, and the surrounding gas is causing disturbances that manifest as spiral arms of shock waves. Professor Tomoaki Matsumoto of Hosei University, who supervised the numerical simulations within this simulation researchHe stated that according to the results obtained The spiral arms indicate a gas flow toward the triple protostar. It is these gaseous structures that provide fuel streams for protostars. Further comparison of the obtained gas velocity with the monitoring results confirmed the agreement between the two datasets, which in turn indicates that the numerical simulation may indeed explain the source of these gas streams.

The team also conducted research to understand the formation of this triple protostar by comparing observations with numerical simulations. So far, two scenarios for multiple star formation have been proposed. The first is the turbulent fragmentation scenario, in which a turbulent gas cloud breaks up into a condensation, each of which is already developing into a protostar. The second is a disk fragmentation scenario, in which the disk of gas surrounding a portion of the protostar leads to the formation of new stars.

The triple protostar observed in this case can be interpreted as a hybrid star formation scenario where the process begins as a turbulent main gas cloud, similar to the turbulent fragmentation scenario. New protostar seeds then form in the disk, similar to the disk fragmentation scenario, and perturbation of the surrounding gas causes the spiral arms to expand. The results of the observations are consistent with the simulations, indicating that the observed triple protostars are the first objects to confirm the formation of multiple stars in such a hybrid scenario.

This is the first time that the origin of protostars and jets has been unambiguously and comprehensively explained. The powerful synergy between ALMA observations and advanced simulations reveals hidden secrets of star formation. – Professor Matsumoto concludes.

The study also sheds new light on the difficulties of planet formation in multiple systems. Planets born in Gas and dust tabletsthat form around protostars. In this triple system of protostars, protostars are confined to a small space, the disks around protostars are small, and orbiting protostars strip other protostars of their disks. Planets form in a calm environment over long periods of time. Therefore, IRAS 04239+2436 is unlikely to be a favorable environment for planet formation.

Matsumoto discusses the impact of this study on our understanding of multiple star formation. Actual observation of multiple star formation in a hybrid scenario will greatly contribute to settling debates about multiple star scenarios. Moreover, this research has confirmed the existence of recently observed jets and explained how they form, which is a major advance.

Agnes Nowak

more information:

Source: ALMA

Pictured: Artist’s impression of the triple protostar, IRAS 04239+2436. Source: ALMA

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