The secret is in the dough

An international team, in which CAB researchers have participated, has uncovered an unexpected number of massive stars in the 30-star Doradus star formation region, known as the Tarantula Nebula. This region is located in the neighboring galaxy Great Cloud of Magellan (LMC for its acronym in English: Large Magellanic Cloud ), a galaxy dwarf satellite of the Milky Way and a member of the Local Group, which is still forming stars.

This discovery sheds new light on the understanding of the primitive universe and allows us to establish how it evolved from the Oscars to the universe that we see today, populated by galaxies, stars and planets.

The study is part of the VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey (VLT: Very Large Telescope ; FLAMES: Fiber Large Array Multi Element Spectograph ), a program of ESO in the one that was used ESO's VLT telescope in Chile to observe about a thousand massive stars in 30 Doradus. The researchers conducted a detailed analysis of some 250 stars with masses between 15 and 200 times the mass of the Sun to determine the distribution of massive stars formed, the so-called 'Initial Mass Function' (IMF for its acronym in English: Initial Mass Function ). This predicts that only 1% of all stars that form have masses greater than 10 times the mass of the Sun. Measuring the proportion of massive stars is extremely difficult, mainly because of its scarcity, and there are only a handful of places in the local universe where we can "put our hands in the dough".

Massive stars are stars with a mass between 8 and 10 times the mass of the Sun. They are especially important for astronomers due to their enormous feedback. They can explode in spectacular supernovas at the end of their lives, forming some of the most exotic objects in the universe, neutron stars and black holes.

Work published in Science by F.Schneider (Univ. of Oxford), H.Sana (KU Leuven), C.Evans (UK Astronomy Center) , J.Bestenlehner (Univ. Of Sheffield), N.Castro (Univ. Of Michigan), L.Fossati (Austrian Academy of Sciences), G.Gräfener (Univ. Of Bonn), N.Langer (Univ. Of Bonn) , O.Ramírez-Agudelo (UK Astronomy Center), C. Sabin-Sanjulián (Univ. Of La Serena), S. Simón-Díaz (IAC), F.Tramper (ESAC), P.Crowther (Univ. Of Sheffield) , A. de Koter (Univ. Of Amsterdam), S. de Mink (Univ. Of Amsterdam), P.Dufton (Queen's Univ. Belfast), M. García García (CAB, CSIC-INTA), M.Gieles (Univ. . of Surrey), V.Hénault-Brunet (Herzberg Astronomy & amp; Astrophysics), A.Herrero (IAC), R.Izzard (Univ. of Cambridge), V.Kalari (Univ. of Chile), D.Lennon (ESAC), J.Maíz Apellániz (CAB, CSIC-INTA), N. Markova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), P.Najarro (CAB, CSIC -INTA), P.Podsiadlowski (Univ. Of Oxford), J.Puls (LMU München), W.Taylor (UK Astronomy Center), J.van Loon (Univ. Of Keele), J.Vink (Armagh Observatory) and C.Norman (Johns Hopkins Univ.).

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Figure: Image of 30 Doradus. The image consists of one of the largest mosaics ever built using Hubble images and includes images taken by the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and the Advance Camera for Surveys (ACS), combined with images from the 2.2-meter telescope MPG / ESO of the Austral Astronomical Observatory, which trace the location of hydrogen and oxygen, which glow. This image appeared to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hubble. © NASA, ESA, ESO, D. Lennon and E. Sabbi (ESA / STScI), J. Anderson, Mink SE, R. van der Marel, T. Sohn, and N. Walborn (STScI), N. Bastian ( Excellence Cluster, Munich), L. Bedin (INAF, Padua), E. Bressert (ESO), P. Crowther (Sheffield), A. de Koter (Amsterdam), C. Evans (UKATC / STFC, Edinburgh), A. Herrero (IAC, Tenerife), N. Langer (AifA, Bonn), I. Platais (JHU) and H. Sana (Amsterdam) (2012).


Fuente: UCC-CAB


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