Few things, if any, are as complex and difficult to understand as the going ons throughout the entire Universe. Of course, there are plenty of theories regarding most of the observable space, but occasionally, especially due to lack of direct contact, some theories are mistaken. Such was the case for a certain type of stellar formation, as globular star clusters import stray gas to create stars.
- There are about 150 tight clusters of hundreds of thousands of stars resent in the Milky Way
- These clusters contain about one million stars in an area roughly 100 light years in diameter
- Generally, most of these stars in globular clusters are red dwarves
- Batches of similarly aged stars are present throughout, each batch a few hundred million years younger than the previous
- Globular star clusters gather outside gasses in order to give birth to new stars
For a long time there was a belief that these very tightly packed areas containing insanely huge amounts of stars “gave birth” to pretty much all of the stars at the same time.
However, as technology progressed, researchers became able to much more precisely tell the exact age of a star; this led to the realization that the stars in the globular star clusters were pretty much born in batches – a few hundred thousand now, another few hundred thousand in a few hundred million years, and so on.
This led to the belief that the clusters birthed stars by using the gaseous remains of other previous stars that went supernova and exploded.
However, as the supernova explosion would lead to the gasses being pushed outwards, most likely out of the cluster, the question remained as to how exactly these stars were being born.
By using the Hubble telescope to look at the globular cluster NGC 411 in the Small Magellanic Cloud, as well as at the NGC 1696 and NGC 1783 globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, researchers were able to figure out due to the birth dates of the stars in the clusters the way that they are born.
As it turns out, globular star clusters have found a way to pull in stray gasses floating nearby, and to use them to create new batches of stars.
So basically, what the clusters are doing is to draw in, or adopt nearby floating gasses, and then to use them to increase the number of stars in the cluster.
Image source: Wikimedia