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A Star Is Born

Astrophysicist Richard Klein of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and his colleagues used computing resources at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego to run simulations reported in Nature that support the direct gravitational collapse model of how stars form. The images show a simulation of stars forming by gaining mass from a turbulent gas cloud. The left panel is a slice of the entire cloud. The right panel zooms in on one of the newly-formed protostars (x in right panel), surrounded by a turbulent wake. A key finding of the simulations is that the turbulent wake prevents the star from gaining further mass, supporting the direct gravitational collapse model.
Image courtesy of M. Krumholz, Princeton U.
Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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Additional info:See " A Star Is Born" feature story on page 6 of SDSC EnVision Science Magazine, Spring 2006.

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