A Starry Family Affair

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,131
    Cosmic “seeds” in the Snake Nebula birth one or more high mass stars that are 5 to 25 times the mass of the Sun.


    Astronomers using the Smithsonian Submillimeter Array looked at a stellar nurseries within the Snake nebula.  This nebula is located 11,700 light years from us towards the constellation Ophiuchus.  Though it looks like a dark, cloudless spot in the sky, it actually is a series of dark absorption clouds that hides a wealth of stars from our view.  With the telescope, this team of scientists found 23 cosmic “seeds” in two areas of the nebula.  The seeds are faintly glowing spots that could eventually birth one or more stars.  These stars generally weigh between 5 and 25 times the mass of the sun and that they aren’t born alone but “form in villages.”  Guess it’s take a village to raise a star.  The astronomers added, “It’s a family affair.”