An unprecedented survey of the ‘nurseries’ where stars are born

June 8, 2021

An unprecedented survey of the ‘nurseries’ where stars are born

Survey of Stellar Nurseries

Astronomers have taken a big step forward in understanding the dark and violent places where stars are born.

“Every star in the sky, including our own sun, was born in one of these stellar nurseries,” said Adam Leroy, associate professor of astronomy at The Ohio State University and one of the leaders of the project.

“These nurseries are responsible for building galaxies and making planets, and they’re just an essential part in the story of how we got here. But this is really the first time we have gotten a complete view of these stellar nurseries across the whole nearby universe.”

The project is called PHANGS-ALMA, and the research was possible thanks to the ALMA telescope array high in the Andes mountains in Chile.

ALMA, the most powerful radio telescope in the world, is an international facility with heavy U.S. involvement led by the National Science Foundation and National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

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