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Binary star formation

Binary star formation

R590/0146

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Credit

DANIEL PRICE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DANIEL PRICE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Binary star formation. Image 3 of 6. Supercomputer simulation of a pair of embryonic, or proto stars (white spots), forming in a molecular cloud core surrounded by spiralling clouds of gas (orange to red). Supercomputers help scientists understand how magnetic fields influence star formation. This simulation was run with the components interacting under a relatively low magnetic field. Under these conditions the gas cloud surrounding each molecular core is pulled by gravity to form two separate spirals. The system will eventually fragment to produce more stars. See images R590/144 to R590/149 for the full sequence. In simulations where the magnetic field is high binary stars collapse to form a single star. Simulation produced by Daniel Price, Exeter University, UK.

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