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Astronomers have discovered a huge spherical cavity in space

Astronomers have discovered a huge spherical cavity in space

The massive cavity in space is shedding new light on star formation.

Astronomers analyzing 3D maps of the shapes and sizes of nearby molecular clouds have discovered a significant presence cavity in space.

Space is spherical, described today Astrophysics magazine covers, spans about 150 parsecs – nearly 500 light years – and is located in the sky between the constellations Perseus and Taurus. The research team is based in the Astrophysics Center | Harvard and Smithsonian think the cavity may have formed from an ancient supernova that exploded about 10 million years ago.

The mysterious cavity surrounds Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds – regions in space where stars are forming.

“Hundreds of stars are forming or already existing on the surface of this massive bubble,” says Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Theory and Computing (ITC) at the Center for Astrophysics.CfAwho ran the course. “We have two theories — either a single supernova bursting at the core of this bubble and pushing the gas outward and forming what is known as a ‘Perseus-Taurus supershell,’ or a series of supernovae that occurred over millions of years, you have more than… time.”

The results show that the molecular clouds of Perseus and Taurus are not independent structures in space. But instead, they formed together from the same supernova shock wave. “This shows that when a star dies, its supernova creates a chain of events that can eventually lead to the birth of new stars,” Bialy explains.

Astronomers analyzing 3D maps of interstellar dust have discovered a huge globular cavity in space. The discovery shows that supernovae led to the formation of the Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds. Image source: Jasen Chambers / The Astrophysical Center | Harvard and Smithsonian

Kindergarten Star Mapping

The 3D map of the bubble and surrounding clouds was created using new data from Gaia, a space observatory launched by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Descriptions like 3D maps of Perseus, Taurus and other nearby clouds They were analyzed in a separate study published today in. has been posted Astrophysical Journal (A BC). Both studies benefit from a dust reconstruction conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

For the first time, the maps show a 3D graphic of molecular clouds, and previous cloud images were limited to two dimensions.

“We’ve been able to see these clouds for decades, but we’ve never known their true shape, depth or thickness. We weren’t sure how far away the clouds are now,” says Catherine Zucker, a CfA postdoctoral fellow who led the ApJ study. Only 1 percent uncertainty so we can distinguish this gap between them.”

But why mapping at all?

“There are many different theories about how gas might arrange itself in stars,” Zucker explains. “Astronomers have tested these theoretical results using simulations in the past, but this is the first time we have been able to use real – non-simulated – 3D views to compare theory, observe, and evaluate which theories work best.”

The universe is at your fingertips

The new research marks the first time that journals of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) have visualizations of astronomy in augmented reality. Scientists and the public can interact with the visualization of the cavity and the molecular clouds surrounding it simply by scanning the QR code on the paper with their smartphone.

Alyssa Goodman, Harvard professor and CfA astronomer, co-author of both studies and founder of Glue, data visualization software that was used to create maps of molecular clouds.

Goodman cites new publications as examples of “future paperIt considers them important steps towards scientific interaction and reproducibility, which the Arab Science Association committed to in 2015 when updating its publications.

“We need more extensive records of scientific discoveries,” Goodman says. And the current scientific work could be much better. All data in these papers is available online – at Harvard University Dataverse – so that everyone can build on our results.”

Goodman envisions future scientific articles that will contain periodically improved audio, video and video materials that will allow all readers to more easily understand the presented research.

She says, “Such 3D visualizations can help scientists and the public alike understand what’s going on in space and the effects of supernovae.”


“Per-Tau shell: Giant spherical clam stars detected by 3D Dust Observations” von Shmuel Bialy, Catherine Zucker, Alyssa Goodman, Michael M. Foley, Joao Alves, Vadim A. Semenov, Robert Benjamin, Remar Lake und Torsten Enßlin, 22.09.2021, Astrophysics magazine covers.
DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / ac1f95

22. September 2021 n. Center for Human Rights. Astrophysical Journal.
DOI: 10.3847 / 1538-4357

More co-authors at a B C. newsletter They are: Catherine Zucker, Alyssa Goodman, Michael Foley and Vadim Semenov from the Center for Astrophysics. Joao Alves of the University of Vienna; Robert Benjamin of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater; and Reimar Leike and Torsten Ensslin of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics.

Co-authors of NS The study is: Alyssa Goodman, Shmuel Biale, Eric Koch, Joshua Spiegel, Michael Foley, and Douglas Finkbeiner of the Center for Astrophysics. Joao Alves of the University of Vienna; Reimar Leike, Torsten Ensslin and Gordian Edenhofer of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics; and Joshua Beck of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The augmented reality figure was made possible by a collaboration between the Glue team, the American Astronomical Society, and Delightex, a commercial software company. Kleber was funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.