Astronomers spot giant star 40 times the size of the Sun giving birth to another star
Washington, Dec 17: Astronomers have spotted a young star 40 times the size of the Sun forming in the outer regions of the disc of dust and gas surrounding a massive star. Scientists made the discovery when observing "MM1A", a large young star surrounded by a rotating disc of gas and dust.
Unusually the star is forming in the same way that our sun was, from a mass of swirling space debris in the orbit of a giant sun.
The main object, referred to as MM 1a, is a young massive star surrounded by a rotating disc of gas and dust that was the focus of the scientists' original investigation.
A faint object, MM 1b, was detected just beyond the disc in orbit around MM 1a, according to the study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The astronomers made this surprising discovery by using a new instrument situated high in the Chilean desert - the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA).
Using the 66 individual dishes of ALMA together in a process called interferometry, the astronomers were able to simulate the power of a single telescope nearly 4km across, allowing them to image the material surrounding the young stars for the first time.