Young “Mother Star” Forming Clump Discovered

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the first newly born star-birthing “Mother star” clump ever to be seen by man has been discovered in deep space. The clump is an enormous gas cloud that scientists believe may have been giving birth to dozens of stars each year. The discovery already has scientists excited as to the possibility that this clump may be instrumental in learning more about the formation of our own galaxy.

Previously studied clumps mostly contained stars over 100 million years old, meaning that the clumps themselves were quite advanced in age. Mother star clumps in their early stages were what scientists really wanted to find, since those are the ones that could provide the most useful data about their formation. In order to find one such “infant” clump, researchers looked for young stars in the hope of finding the gas clouds that formed them.

In order to view the Mother star clump, the tried and true Hubble Space Telescope was employed. Based on the amount of light the telescope picked up from the cloud, scientists estimate that it produces the equivalent of 32 of our suns each year, which is a large fraction of the stars present in its galaxy. The clump is a staggering 3000 light-years wide, and is reported to weigh over a billion times as much as our sun. It is located in a galaxy about 10.4 billion light-years away, which goes back all the way to the early stages of our universe.

After analysis of early clump formation, they are gravitating towards a theory that essentially states that these giant gas clouds begin as dense lumps in turbulent gaseous matter in young galaxies. The clumps have an approximate lifespan of about 500 million years, which is goes against older theories that they are rapidly destroyed by the energy winds of the stars they create. Their life spans mean that the clouds have plenty of time to inch towards the centers of galaxies. Researchers believe that this may explain how galaxy bulges form. In the future, scientists hope to use more telescopes to find other young star-forming Mother star clumps, and thus gain more knowledge about both clump and galaxy formation.