Scientists say the mysterious 1,000 light-year-old bubble that surrounds Earth is the origin of all nearby young stars



13 ene 2022 00:11 GMT

Researchers have developed a three-dimensional animation of space-time, which can “for the first time” explain how the formation of stars, located within a radius of 500 light-years from our planet, can “for the first time”.

Reconstructed a group of astronomers The evolutionary history of our galaxy’s neighborhood, shows how the chain of events, which began 14 million years ago, led to the formation of a vast bubble responsible for the formation of all young stars near Earth.

The team, led by scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), created Vitality 3D space-time, revealing that all young stars and star-forming regions – within 500 light-years of our planet – It is located on the surface of a bubble about 1,000 light-years in diameter, known as the “domestic bubble”.

“For the first time we can explain how nearby stars begin to form,” claimed This Tuesday in a statement by Catherine Zucker one of the study authors, published in Nature magazine.

What is known about the local bubble?

The model, which is based on a set of new data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space observatory, shows how a series of supernovae, which It first erupted 14 million years ago, pushed the interstellar gas outward, creating a bubble-shaped structure with a surface ripe for star formation.

Currently, there are seven known star-forming regions or molecular clouds (dense regions in space where stars can form) on the bubble’s surface. “We figured it out About 15 supernovae have exploded over millions of years to form the domestic bubble we see today,” Zucker said.

According to astronomers, that strangely shaped bubble, which was discovered in the 70s and 80s of the last century, is not dormant and continues to grow slowly. “It is moving at a speed of about 6 kilometers per second“But it lost most of its momentum and stabilized in terms of speed,” the researcher explained.

Bubbles everywhere?

Joao Alves, a professor at the University of Vienna and co-author of the study, noted that “when the first supernova that created the local bubble exploded, Our sun was far from working“But about 5 million years ago, the Sun’s path took it through the galaxy inside the bubble, and now the Sun is, fortunately, roughly at the center of the bubble.”

Super bubbles have been suspected to be ubiquitous in the Milky Way for nearly 50 years, the team said. “Now we have a guideAlyssa Goodman, a Harvard professor and CfA scientist, asked what the odds are we’re in the middle of one of these things? He stressed that they are rare in our Milky Way.

Video: More pictures "crisp and deep" Obtained from the region around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way

As the researcher explained, Our galaxy is like Swiss cheese with many holesAs these holes are pushed out by supernovae, new stars can form in the cheese around the holes left by dying stars.

Next, astronomers plan Map of more interstellar bubbles For a full 3D view of their locations, shapes, and sizes. Tracing the bubbles and their relationship will allow us to understand the role of dying stars in the birth of new bubbles and in the structure and evolution of galaxies such as the Milky Way. Where do you touch these bubbles? How do they interact with each other? How do supernovae lead to the birth of stars like our sun in the Milky Way? These are the questions the team hopes to answer.

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