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Astronomers first observe the massive star formation of the Milky Way at high resolution.

Astronomers first observe the massive star formation of the Milky Way at high resolution.

This image from a radio telescope shows a massive star formation area in the outer Milky Way. The ellipse identifies the main compartment of the molecular cloud of the region, including the small 1a, which is very efficient when producing stars. Credit: Charles Kerton / Iowa State University

US and Korean astronomers have made their first high-resolution wireless telescope observations of molecular clouds in the enormous star formation of the extraterrestrial galaxy.

"This area is near dust and gas clouds," said Charles Kerton, a member of Iowa State University 's associate professor of physics and astronomy and a research team. "Clouds block light so we have to use infrared or radio observations to observe it."

The Milky Way region is called CTB 102 and is about 14,000 light years from Earth. It is classified as HII area. In other words, it contains a cloud of hydrogenated hydrogen atoms. And it was difficult to study because of the distance from the earth and the dust and gas between them.

"This area is not very well portrayed," Curton said.

Astronomers have drafted a new high-resolution map of the area. Astrophysics Journal. The main author is Kang Sung Ju, an employee scientist at the Korea Astronomical Space Research Institute and former graduate student of Iowa State University. There is a former Iowa graduate student, Brandon Marshall, who is a professor at Kearney University at the University of Nebraska. Other co-authors are Kerton, Kim Youngsik, Choi Min Ho, Gang Mi Joo and Astronomy and Space Science Institute. Former President Kim is also in Daejeon Observatory of Korea.

Professor Curtone said at the Taeduk Radio Astronomy Observatory in Korea that astronomers used high-resolution carbon monoxide observations of galactic molecular clouds using a new delegated telescope.

"It tells the mass and structure of matter in the interstellar medium," Curton said.

Astronomers also compared wireless observations with existing infrared data from a wide-area infrared (IR) instrument and the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Infrared data were able to classify young stars within the molecular cloud of the region.

Astronomers have obtained three major observations from their data.

First, astronomers used radio data to describe the physical structure and properties of the newly mapped molecular clouds in the region. The sun was about 180,000 light years, and the mass of the sun was about 100,000. Next, we used infra-red data to determine the content of young stars in the clouds. Finally, we combined the two data flows to study the efficiency of star formation within the galaxy.

They reported that the star formation efficiency of the CTB 102 region is about 5% to 10% similar to other large molecular clouds in the galaxy. However, they found a partial area of ​​the cloud with a star formation efficiency of 17% to 37% (depending on the method of mass calculation of the subsector). Which is much higher than expected for that size of subregion. They speculate that the subregion is a massive group of young development stars buried in molecular clouds.

Why is all the star formation in that one subregion? Kerton says this is a question for more research. Maybe, he said there would be something special about the interstellar matter next to the huge HII area.

Kerton says, "This is our first look." Because the old data was only a few dots and a few pixels, we could not isolate this relatively small galaxy area. "

But now they could do it with the help of a new Korean radio station.

The high-resolution observations of this study are a demonstration that telescopes are ideal for studying similar areas of our galaxy, but there are many other potential goals. "

Multi-wavelength observations of star-forming regions reveal dozens of new celestial bodies

Additional information:
High-resolution observation of molecular clouds associated with large HII regions CTB 102, arXiv: 1904.00529 [astro-ph.GA]

Provided by
Iowa State University

Astronomers believe that the massive star formation area of ​​the Milky Way (April 15, 2019)
April 15, 2019 Search

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