New observations of a star-forming nebula have revealed four stellar embryos, providing clues as to how multiple star systems evolve.
The majority of stars in our galaxy come in pairs, triplets or even quadruplets, but our sun appears to be a loner. This fact poses an interesting question: if our star is alone, and yet contains a rich multiplanetary system, how do planetary systems evolve in multi-star systems?
ANALYSIS: Hubble Spies Dark Nebula of Stellar Creation
In a new study published in the journal Nature this week, Alyssa Goodman, professor of astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), reports on the discovery of four embryonic stars slowly forming 825 light-years from Earth. Previously known to contain one protostar, the molecular cloud located in the constellation Perseus apparently contains more stellar siblings.
One of the biggest puzzles in understanding the evolution of multi-star systems is how they formed; did they spawn from the same stellar nursery as true fraternal twins would or did the stars come from different locations only to be gravitationally captured later in their lives? According to theoretical models both ideas are viable.