A Star is Born

Make sure you keep an eye on the Sky!

The journey of researching and learning about astronomy proves to be a never ending source of amazement.  While we have been talking about observations of the moon and stars, and about solar prominences on the surface of the Sun, there have been other astronomers making astounding measurements of our neighboring stars.


A Star is Bornbest telescope

In particular, scientists have been making some interesting observations of a relatively young star that makes up a part of the cluster of stars in the core of the Milky Way galaxy.  Of the millions of stars out there, the star known as CX330, has been of particular interest to science, because it has recently been born.  I always thought the term “a star is born” referred to objects on Earth, but in this case, the term is very literal.  CX330 which is a mere 25000 light years away from Earth, has been recorded as growing in brightness and intensity in just a few short years that it has been observed by astronomers on Earth.


Recent formation of a new star

Scientists are fairly certain that this star was recently formed by a collection of interstellar gas and dust particles that collected together under immense gravitational force.  These internal forces aggregate enough solar material until such time as the internal heat generated by the immense pressure and density have started the atomic chain reactions that result in what we recognise as a star.  The astounding thing about CX330 is that not only has this process brought about the birth of star, but it has done so very recently.  Well by astronomical standards anyway.

Scientists postulate that new stars are born when massive amounts of stellar gas and dust collect together.  As the gravitational forces steadily increase, the gases and other matter compress together.  If the collection of stellar material is large enough, the gravitational force becomes so great that the atomic particles are forced to together in what becomes a nuclear fusion reaction.  A star is born, and the ensuing nuclear reaction burns for missions of years and in the case of the Solar System, the Sun’s energy has come to sustain life on Earth.


New star is growing rapidly

What is interesting about CX330, is that it is entirely possible that the new star has fired up in a mater of a hundred thousand years ago, or thereabouts, and even now, it is still growing and developing at an extremely rapid rate.  In as little as 3 years, the baby star was recorded to have grown by a matter of hundreds of times in terms of brightness.  This is a massive growth by astronomical terms, and cannot be explained by any other phenomenon other than the title of this blog – A Star is Born!

This incredible growth rate have been measured by both ground and space telescopes, and measurements have been recorded in both the visible spectrum, and by X-ray instruments.  Both methods have recorded astounding increases in light and energy output from this interesting newborn star.


Growth Fueled by Atomic Nuclear Reactions

The rapid increase in energy is more than likely associated with the ignition of the solar sub-atomic nuclear reactions and this in turn makes the star able to increase in size, increase in gravitational force, and suck in more of the surrounding material enabling the star to grow even larger.

This rapid growth rate is of interest to astronomers all over the world because it demonstrates a lot of understanding of our own solar system, and the delicate dance between our planets as they maintain a stable orbit around the Sun.  And this is a good thing for us, as the Earth maintains a habitable location and distance from the Sun.  It would not be such a hospitable place around the newborn CX330 however, as it is rapidly expanding and burning up everything surrounding it.


New stars are born every day

And here is the really interesting thing about watching CX330 being born, is that it proves the universe is still growing and developing.  Scientists have since been able to observe several other “stars of interest” that also appear to be undergoing rapid growth in a similar way to CX330, which suggests that there are many recent additions to the universal family.

There is much still to learn about the universe

So by making such interesting observations such as the birth of new stars, astronomers are adding to the body of knowledge about the universe.  If the universe was indeed formed by the “Big Bang” then that goes a long way to explain the physics behind the growth of stars and galaxies and even planets.  But the fact that there is still massive quantities of stellar material drifting in space, and that when these gases and dust particles collect together and develop enough gravitational force to become new stars, then that is proof that the universe is still growing and developing from the inside.


The cycle of evolution of the universe

We already know that old stars eventually burn out, and we have seen records of collapsing and exploding stars, and now we can add to our understanding when we observe the creation of new stars, which completes the evolutionary cycle of which ultimately, we are also a minute part of.


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