Nebula’s Frozen Clouds at Heart of Violent Star Formation
The stellar factories are 7,500 light years away in the Carina Nebula. The 150 light-year-wide object contains dense fields of hydrogen gas and dust that, when they collapse, spawn extremely large, bright and short-lived stars. Just a few million years later they detonate as supernovas. By comparison, our much-smaller sun may last for another 5 billion years. The cataclysmic blasts push nearby gas into denser masses, sparking the birth of more stars.
Image: ESO/APEX/T. Preibisch et al.; N. Smith, University of Minnesota/NOAO/AURA/NSF [high-resolution version]

Nebula’s Frozen Clouds at Heart of Violent Star Formation

The stellar factories are 7,500 light years away in the Carina Nebula. The 150 light-year-wide object contains dense fields of hydrogen gas and dust that, when they collapse, spawn extremely large, bright and short-lived stars. Just a few million years later they detonate as supernovas. By comparison, our much-smaller sun may last for another 5 billion years. The cataclysmic blasts push nearby gas into denser masses, sparking the birth of more stars.

Image: ESO/APEX/T. Preibisch et al.; N. Smith, University of Minnesota/NOAO/AURA/NSF [high-resolution version]