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Astronomers caught a glimpse of a future star just as it is being born out of the surrounding gas and dust, in a star-forming re

News | 06.17.2010

Astronomers Witness Star Birth

Astronomers have glimpsed into the earliest stages of star formation, and have seen what could be the youngest known star at the very moment it is being born. “It’s very difficult to detect objects in this phase of star formation, because they are very short-lived and they emit very little light,” said Xuepeng Chen, from Yale University and lead author of a new paper. Not yet fully developed into a true star, the object is in the earliest stages of star formation and has just begun pulling in matter from a surrounding envelope of gas and dust. The team detected the faint light emitted by the nearby dust.

Using the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii and the Spitzer Space Telescope, the astronomers studied L1448-IRS2E, located in the Perseus star-forming region, about 800 light years away within our Milky Way galaxy...

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Image Credits: (header) European Space Agency & NASA; (left) (Spitzer Space Telescope image of DR21 in Infrared) Credit: A. Marston (ESTEC/ESA) et al., JPL, Caltech, NASA; (background) NASA, ESA and H.E. Bond (STScI)

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Yale University

© 2014 Yale University. All Rights Reserved.