What is this mysterious isolated “chamber” in the Milky Way?

What is this mysterious isolated "chamber" in the Milky Way?

Astronomers have recently identified a large chamber in the Milky Way that exploded at the end of a star millions of years ago, giving rise to new stars around it. These works were published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, To shed light on the role of supernovae in the star formation process.

A “chamber” 500 light-years in diameter

An important question in the field of star formation is how molecular clouds (gas and dust formation stars) form from diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). Recent advances in 3D dust mapping are revolutionizing our view of the structure of ISM. As part of a study, a team relied on the European Space Agency’s satellite Gaya to map the known molecular clouds of Perseus and Taurus in 3D, revealing a large void between two structures never seen before in previous 2D maps of the region.

We have been able to see these clouds for decades, but we do not know their true shape, depth, or thickness. We had no idea how far the clouds were“, Explains Catherine Zucker, co-author of the study.”We now know where they are with 1% uncertainty, allowing us to identify this void between them.“.

According to the study, this bubble-shaped “chamber” measures About 500 light-years Wide. “Hundreds of stars are forming or already existing on the surface of this giant bubble“, Souligne Schmuel Biali, DL Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) du Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Broad view of the chamber (left) shows blue and red Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds. Newer 3D images of these clouds show that they are on the edge of the chamber and far away. Attribution: Alyssa Goodman / Astrophysics Center | Harvard & Smithsonian

It is believed that this gas and dust particles formed together The same supernova (Explosion of a star at the end of life) Ten million years. These two clouds would have formed more precisely as a result of the same shock wave that exhibits the powerful effects of these stellar explosions.

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According to team members, this new discovery will shed light on how supernovae form star formation in the Milky Way. “We have two theories: either triggered a supernova at the heart of this bubble and expelled gas, which we now call the “Perseus-Torres Superhall”.“, Either way it created a series of supernovae that have been going on for millions of years“, The scientist continues.”However, when a star dies, it proves that its supernova creates a series of events that lead to the birth of new stars.“.

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