Sunday, February 21, 2010

Magnetic Star Formation

"He [Anaxagoras] asserted that the sun was a mass of burning iron...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

"The form of the corona and the motion of the prominences suggest that it [the sun] is a magnet." -- George E. Hale, astronomer, 1913

"Gravity has little if anything to do with the processes of star formation." -- Stephen Smith, writer, May 2009

Science Daily: Massive Stars’ Magnetically Controlled Diets.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2010) — A team of astronomers, led by Dr. Wouter Vlemmings at Bonn University, has used the MERLIN radio telescope network centred on the Jodrell Bank Observatory to show that magnetic fields play an important role during the birth of massive stars. Magnetic fields are already known to strongly influence the formation of lower-mass stars like our Sun. This new study reveals that the way in which high-mass and low-mass stars form may be more similar than previously suspected.

The scientists report their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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