Scientists have presented highly detailed photographs of nearby galaxies. They can be used to study the processes of star formation.
A group of astronomers have released detailed photographs of nearby galaxies that resemble colorful cosmic fireworks. Images taken with the European Southern Observatory’s (VLT) telescope show the different components of galaxies in different colors, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the location of young stars and the gas they are heating up around them. By combining their observations with data from ALMA, which is partnering with ESO, the team is helping to shed light on what causes gas to form stars.
Astronomers know that stars are born in clouds of gas, but how galaxies as a whole are involved remains a mystery. To understand this process, the team of researchers observed various nearby galaxies with powerful telescopes on earth and in space, scanning various galactic regions involved in stellar birth.
“This is the first time we are observing individual star forming units at a wide range of locations and conditions in a sample that well represents different types of galaxies,” notes astronomer Eric Emsell. “We can observe the gas from which stars are born, the young stars themselves, and we observe their evolution at various stages.”
By combining images of MUSE and ALMA, astronomers can study the galactic regions where star formation is taking place – so they can understand what triggers, stimulates, or inhibits the birth of new stars. “The resulting images are breathtaking, offering a breathtakingly colorful look at stellar nurseries in our neighboring galaxies,” the scientists said.
“There are many mysteries that we want to solve,” said Katherine Kreckel of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. – Are stars born more often in certain regions of host galaxies, and if so, why? And after the birth of stars, how does their evolution affect the formation of new generations of stars? ”