Astronomers find traces of bubbles formed when dying stars explode

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers led by Juan Diego Soler of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) has found the signature of bubbles from the explosion of dying stars in the gas that permeates our galaxy.

They made the discovery by applying artificial intelligence techniques to data from the HI4PI survey, which provides the most detailed distribution of atomic hydrogen across the entire sky in the Milky Way to date.

Scientists have analyzed the filamentous structure in the radiation of gaseous atomic hydrogen. They suggested that it contained a record of dynamic processes caused by ancient supernova explosions and the rotation of the galaxy.

Hydrogen is the main component of stars such as the Sun. However, the process by which diffuse clouds of hydrogen gas propagating through our galaxy gather into dense clouds that eventually form stars is not yet fully understood.

A collaboration between astronomers led by Juan Diego Soler and the ECOgal project has taken an important step in understanding the life cycle of star-forming raw materials.

Soler processed data from the most detailed survey of the entire sky on the emission of atomic hydrogen in radio waves – HI4PI. To do this, he applied a mathematical algorithm commonly used in automatic verification and analysis of satellite images and online videos.

Due to the size of these observations, it would be impossible to perform such an analysis by eye. The algorithm revealed a vast and intricate network of thin thread-like objects or threads. Most of the filaments in the inner part of the Milky Way have been found to point away from the disk of our galaxy.

“Most likely, these are the remnants of numerous supernova explosions that swell gas and form bursting bubbles when they reach the characteristic scale of the galactic plane, like bubbles that come to the surface in a glass of sparkling wine,” says Ralph Klessen, who is the principal investigator of the ECOgal project, which aims to understand our galactic ecosystem from the disk of the Milky Way to the places where stars and planets form.

“The fact that we see mostly horizontal structures in the outer part of the Milky Way, where the number of massive stars is greatly reduced and, accordingly, there are fewer supernovae, suggests that we are registering the contribution of energy and momentum from stars forming gas in our galaxy.” .

The interstellar medium, which is the matter and radiation that exists in the space between stars, is governed by the formation of stars and supernovae, the latter being violent explosions that occur in the final stages of the evolution of stars that are more than ten times more massive than the Sun.

Supernova clusters are very efficient at maintaining turbulence and raising gas in a stratified disk. Finding these filamentous structures in atomic hydrogen is an important step in understanding the process responsible for star formation on a galaxy scale.


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