Astronomers see for the first time live the formation of two twin stars

Space continues to surprise us this October. A team of scientists has observed for the first time how stars are born. Thanks to the ALMA instrument located in Chile, astronomers are witnessing, thanks to snapshots, the formation of the stars. For Mario Tafalla, astronomer of the National Geographic Institute, being able to see that phenomenon in high resolution is "something incredible" because you can finally understand how the universe is formed,

In addition, on the day that the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics is given to those responsible for the discovery of the first planets outside the solar system and in harmony with the autumnfall of the leaves, the sky gives tonight a shower of stars. This atypical phenomenon can be seen at three in the morning when the moon will lose its intensity. Although specialists at the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) do not expect any peculiarities compared to previous years, it is possible "that when going out in the morning to work someone crosses paths with a shooting star", explains Tafalla.

The feeding of the stars, 

The ALMA instrument is capable of recording a very large number of astros forming systems and in maximum detail. Scientists, among whom are Spaniards, have observed the youngest member of a small group of stellar objects in the dark Barnard 59 nebula, which is part of the dust and gas cloud called the Pipe Nebula, the Superior Council reports Scientific Research (CSIC).

Visible points are discs that drop a matter from which the protostars feed to develop. These circular elements emit a dust, similar to sand particles but in smaller ones. Stars are created every day, by multiple regions of the universe. Its formation can take a million years, but Tafalla estimates that 10 new stars are born a year, although it says that it is impossible to give an exact figure due to the slowness of the process.

The complex 'pretzel' shaped filaments that surround the two young stars and their small discs. Felipe O. Alves CSIC

In addition, the entire formation system is surrounded by a larger disc with a total weight of about 80 masses of Jupiter, showing a "complex network of dust structures distributed in spiral form, resembling a pretzel", explains the press release CSIC.

According to Tafalla, the results published in the journal Science provide details that have never been seen before. "There are no remnants of how the Sun formed, so we looked at other stars to understand how it was created. Our eyes can finally attend to it." Dr. Josep Miquel Girart, researcher at the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) joins Tafalla to highlight the qualities of the technology used by astronomers. "Thanks to the power of ALMA we have managed to gain a better understanding of how these systems are formed, as well as discover that it would be possible to form rocky planets in such environments. Knowing this, we can now study more similar mechanisms in order to better describe the conditions that allow the formation of multiple star systems," says

The Rain of Stars

Earth will cross paths with a comet that is also in orbit around the Sun. From that unusual encounter will fall grains of luminous dust that resemble stars. These astronomical elements are the remnants of the formation of those stars that scientists observed last week with the ALMA instrument. The kite in question forms a block of debris from which tiny bright meteors are unhooked and creates the rain that will be seen this morning,

Bright dust grains appear randomly and vaporize at about 100 kilometers at a speed of 20 kilometers per second

"The fall will not be very intense," Tafalla confirms. To observe this phenomenon you need a completely dark sky and move away from places with a lot of light pollution. It is also necessary to wait for the moonlight in the growing room to disappear (2.50 a.m. on October 9). This year 20 meteors (dust particles from the comet's tail that float and glow for a fraction of seconds) per hour are expected when in case of large rains the figure rises to about 100, explains the astronomer. In 1933 and 1946 were the years where meteor rates were the highest, according to IGN data.

the shooting stars you can see are called the Draconids. Because of a projection effect they seem to come from the constellation Draco (from the Dragon), but in reality the bright dust grains appear randomly and vaporize to about 100 kilometers high with a speed of 20 kilometers per second. After concluding, Tafalla recalls the beauty of ALMA images that allow the human eye to observe the complexity of the galaxy.