Stellar pregnancy and birth in the Milky Way
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Stellar pregnancy and birth in the Milky Way

May 13, 2010
This image is taken looking towards a region of the Galaxy in the Eagle constellation, closer to the Galactic centre than our Sun. Here, we see the outstanding end-products of the stellar assembly line. At the centre and the left of the image, the two massive star-forming regions G29.9 and W43 are clearly visible. These mini-starbursts are forming, as we speak, hundreds and hundreds of stars of all sizes: from those similar to our Sun, to monsters several tens of times heavier than our Sun.

These newborn large stars are catastrophically disrupting their original gas embryos by kicking away their surroundings and excavating giant cavities in the Galaxy. This is clearly visible in the 'fluffy chimney' below W43.

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