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Are new planets and stars still forming?

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    I was showering and I realized I have no clue... all you read about is HOW they form, but I've never read whether they are still forming or not...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2007 #2


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    they are still forming

    rich clouds of gas where young stars are getting started have been observed and photographed
    I don't happen to have links to photographs of star-forming regions in our galaxy, but others here may have some and they
    might post them so you can see for yourself

    about planets, I recently read about a star having been observed to have crud around it that hadn't collected yet into planets, but that whole business is harder to observe with today's instruments

    still, I think you can take for granted that plenty of planets are currently being formed, because stars are
    and because a large percentage of stars are observed to have planets
    so if there are new stars, there ought reasonably to be new planets forming as well.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  4. Feb 5, 2007 #3
    lol thank.
  5. Feb 5, 2007 #4
    Is there an example or two yet where astronomers have looked at those rich clouds of gas and actually observed a new star that hadn't been seen before? Or does the timescale for how frequently a new star "turns on" along with the problems of seeing through those rich clouds of gas where they are forming make this an unlikely observation?
  6. Feb 5, 2007 #5


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    I have to rely on what the professionals say is happening in these pictures.
    to get a satisfactory answer you should ask Spacetiger.
    I think that they arent able to watch evolution over time, only look at a star-formation region and identify stars that look like they are just forming.
    I think you are right to imagine that the timescale is too slow to do more than that. But you should check with one of the pros.
  7. Feb 18, 2007 #6

    I would imagine the way in which nuclear fusion started in a new star would be quite abrupt and noticeable on the time scale of human observation. Probably within a day, like a nova or supernova. However, I don't think I've ever heard or read of anyone observing this.

    In the Orion nebulae we can observe the shockwave of newly ignited stars blowing out hollow bubbles in the surrounding cloud of gas and dust. The size of the bubble would allow us to use the average speed of solar winds to calculate just how long ago the star ignited.

    The Orion nebulae is the star forming region closest to earth and most readily observable. However, we can also observe entire regions of other galaxies where new stars are forming.
  8. Oct 18, 2007 #7
    there's still enough clumped matter in the universe.
  9. Oct 18, 2007 #8


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    Although stars turn-on quite quickly they are usually formed in dense clouds so it is difficult to see early stage stars.
    You can see a little way into the cloud in infrared, but generally you can't resolve individual stars in a star forming region until they have lived for long enough to have blown off the cloud material.

    Microwave and radio observations have found a few stars < few 1000 years old.
  10. Oct 19, 2007 #9


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    Stars and accompanying planets are forming in this galaxy as we speak. In about 4.6 billion years, we will be chatting with their inhabitants . . . HELP! OUR SUN IS ABOUT TO GO RED GIANT! We will probably still be fighting amongst ourselves and too self absorbed to have made constructive progess towards resolution of more serious problems.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007
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