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ALMA and VLT Find Too Many Massive Stars in Starburst Galaxies, Near and Far

ALMA and VLT Find Too Many Massive Stars in Starburst Galaxies, Near and Far

Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that both starburst galaxies in the early Universe and a star-forming region in a nearby galaxy contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in more peaceful galaxies. These findings challenge current ideas about how galaxies evolved, changing our understanding of cosmic star-formation history and the build up of chemical elements.

This is the surface of a giant star, 350 times larger than the sun

This is the surface of a giant star, 350 times larger than the sun

When it comes to looking beyond our Solar System, astronomers are often forced to theorize about what they don’t know based on what they do. In short, they have to rely on what we have learned studying the Sun and the planets from our own Solar System in order to make educated guesses about how other star systems and their respective bodies formed and evolved.

Second fastest pulsar spins 42,000 times a minute

Second fastest pulsar spins 42,000 times a minute

Pulsars are what remains when a massive star undergoes gravitational collapse and explodes in a supernova. These remnants (also known as neutron stars) are extremely dense, with several Earth-masses crammed into a space the size of a small country. They also have powerful magnetic fields, which causes them to rotate rapidly and emit powerful beams of gamma rays or x-rays – which lends them the appearance of a lighthouse.