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Lag time and star creation

  1. Nov 9, 2009 #1
    it is known that there is considerable lag time when light travels from some place and reached us her on earth. is it possible that what we consider to be star formation actually nothing more than us receiving their light for the first time? thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2009 #2


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    No, because we see stars condensing out of gas clouds, eating up the disk of gas surrounding them, moving together in young star clusters, and dispersing as the star clusters age. Stars don't just pop out of nowhere.
  4. Nov 10, 2009 #3


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    To my knowledge, we have not actually experienced any (or, at least, many) cases of stars suddenly shining where there was no star before in recorded history. This would be a misconception.

    That is not how we learn about star formation. It happens over much longer time scales than we humans have been around.

    As ideasrule points out, when we look out into the universe, we see millions upon millions of stars in various stages of development, from collapsing disks of dust and gas, all the way to exploding novae, all the way to burnt-out cool cinders.

    In a sense, we have millions upon millions of "frames" in the "film" that is a typical star's life. All we have to do is put them in the right order.

    That's how we know how stars form.

    Well, that and all the math stuff...
  5. Nov 10, 2009 #4
    okay.that makes sense.thanks.
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