Astronomers Uncover "Sneezes" from Baby Stars' Protostellar Discs

  • 13 Apr 2024

On 11th April 2024, Astronomers revealed that protostellar discs surrounding infant stars emit "sneezes" of dust, gas, and electromagnetic energy, offering valuable insights into their nature.

Key Points

  • Stellar Birthplaces: All stars, including the Sun, originate in stellar nurseries composed of dense gas and dust.
  • As these materials coalesce, they form a stellar core or "baby star," surrounded by a protostellar disc.
  • Magnetic Field Dynamics: These discs are influenced by magnetic fields, retaining all magnetic flux would lead to excessively strong fields.
  • Observational Analysis: Using data from the ALMA array of radio telescopes in Chile, researchers examined MC 27; a stellar nursery located 450 light-years away.
  • They discovered spike-like structures extending from the protostellar disc, indicating expelled magnetic flux, dust, and gas.
  • Interchange Instability: The observed phenomenon, termed "interchange instability," results from magnetic field instabilities interacting with varying gas densities in the protostellar disc, causing outward expulsion of magnetic flux.
  • Insights and Future Prospects: Additional spikes observed farther from the protostellar disc may represent past "sneezes."