Star formation

  • Thread starter blumfeld0
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  • #1
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What evidence do we have that stars are forming right now?

Molecular clouds? why do we know that molecular clouds are where stars form? any other lines of evidence? i know this is a big topic so a few reasons or a good link would be a good start for me to understand this big topic

thanks
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Though it is difficult to watch real-time, we can see stars in all stages of their lifespan, including formation itself. The Pleiades, for example, is a star cluster that formed relatively recently, the stars are young.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(star_cluster [Broken])
It is dominated by young, hot blue stars....

Ages for star clusters can be estimated by comparing the H-R diagram for the cluster with theoretical models of stellar evolution, and using this technique, ages for the Pleiades of between 75 and 150 million years have been estimated.
Heh - and learn something new every day. I thought the nebulosity of the cluster was left-over from its formation, but apparently not:
It was formerly thought that the dust was left over from the formation of the cluster, but at the age of about 100 million years generally accepted for the cluster, almost all the dust originally present would have been dispersed by radiation pressure. Instead, it seems that the cluster is simply passing through a particularly dusty region of the interstellar medium.
Here is a picture of "stellar nursery": http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap960816.html
 
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  • #3
Phobos
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Like Russ said, you can examine many different nebulae and see the different stages of star formation (the whole process is too long to watch). There's still a lot of virgin material out there ready to make new stars.
 
  • #6
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Yeh as the guys above have said you can look at nebulae which are, as im sure you know, generally thought of as stellar nurseries due to it being a dark, cold enviroment which is good for star forming (stellar winds push protostar material away).

Evidence for recently 'turned on' stars (hydrogen fusion begun) is say a star in a nebula which is glowing brightly but tightly surrounded by dust and gas save for a small pocket just outside the star, showing it is in the process of pushing this material away

dunno if that helps
 

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