Mexican astronomers document the birth of a new star!By Fernanda Duque Hernández
Eight times bigger than the Sun.
Eighteen years ago a group of astronomers led by Mexican researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) started to observe a tiny point of light known as W75N (B) – VLA2, located in a faraway region of the universe without knowing that they were in fact observing the birth of a new star.
Using images from the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), Carlos Carrasco Gonzalez, Jorge Canto and his team started to document this young start from 1996 when this point – 4,200 light-years from Earth – was just a compact region of a hot ionized wind.
Comparing images from that time to the present in 2014, scientists realized that the ejected wing of the first years turned into a distinctly elongated outflow which led the team to believe that the young star has been forming a gaseous environment currently in a state of constant expansion, mainly in opposite directions, forming a spherical shell around the star.
W75N (B) – VLA2 has been “growing up” rather quickly, approximately 30 kilometers per second, or 100,000 kilometers per hour. It is in fact eight times bigger than the sun.
"We're seeing this dramatic change in real time,” Carrasco-Gonzalez said to Astronomy Magazine, “So this object is providing us with an exciting opportunity to watch over the next few years as a very young star goes through the early stages of its formation."
The resulting research will shed light on other theoretical models about the expansion and growth of Sun-like stars. Also working on this study are researchers from as far as Spain, Holland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan.
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