The Violent, Mysterious Dynamics of Star Formation: Lighting up the universe is a rough-and-tumble business

March 26, 2009
Young stars in the Orion nebula
Young stars in the Orion nebula emerge from hiding in this superposition of infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope and visible-light images form the Hubble Space Telescope. Image courtesy of NASA

They are kind of a theorist’s dream.” These early models paid scant attention to the way infant stars might influence each other. “Before we could understand how neighbors affect individual star formation,” explains Arce’s former thesis advisor, Alyssa Goodman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “we had to understand the evolution of stars in isolation. That was pretty complicated in itself.

See also: Astrophysics