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Too Many Massive Stars in Universe’s Youngest Galaxies

13 Jun 2018, 13:00 UTC
Too Many Massive Stars in Universe’s Youngest Galaxies ESO/M. Kornmesser

A few months ago, Sky & Telescope reported on a study of a nearby star-forming region (30 Doradus) forming an unexpected number of massive stars. The region might even contain stars with up to 300 times the mass of the Sun — but that wasn’t the real surprise.

Astronomers had thought that the same basic processes ought to shape star formation no matter where it happens, resulting in the same relative numbers of stars everywhere. If that turned out not to be true — and 30 Doradus seemed to be proving the exception — then astronomers would have to rethink everything, from how they classify galaxies to how quickly the universe formed its stars.

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