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Press release | Scientific publications | Matter ＆ the Universe | Astrophysics | Content of the Universe | Stars | Tools ＆ research instruments | Telescope
An international team led by researchers at CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) has challenged currently held ideas about star formation. The unprecedented resolution of the observations obtained using the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) enabled them to measure the quantity of high-mass star-forming cores in a remote, very active region of our Galaxy, and show that there is a higher proportion of them there than expected. Published in Nature Astronomy, the findings could challenge the widespread assumption that the mass distribution of a population of star-forming cores is identical to that of the stars they spawn.
The active star-formation region W43-MM1, as observed using the world's largest millimetre interferometer, ALMA. The high number of star formation sites, known as cores and here identified by ellipses, are evidence of the intense star formation activity in this region.
© ESO/ALMA/F. Motte/T. Nony/F. Louvet/Nature Astronomy
(1) Initial Mass Function
(2) Core Mass Function
(3) Also taking part were researchers from the Observatoire Aquitain des Sciences de l'Univers (CNRS/Université Bordeaux), the Laboratoire d'Etudes du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique et Atmosphères (CNRS/Observatoire de Paris/Sorbonne Université) and the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique.
The unexpectedly large proportion of high-mass star-forming cores in a Galactic mini-starburst. F. Motte, T. Nony, F. Louvet, K. A. Marsh, S. Bontemps, A. P. Whitworth, A. Men’shchikov, Q. Nguyen Luong, T. Csengeri, A. J. Maury, A. Gusdorf, E. Chapillon, V. K̈önyves, P.Schilke, A. Duarte-Cabral, P. Didelon and M. Gaudel. Nature Astronomy, le 30 Avril 2018.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.