Science & Tech

Young star may be belching spheres of gas, astronomers say

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Behavior not predicted by current models

Observations by astronomers of a young star in the constellation Cepheus, more than 2000 lights-years away, suggest that it is repeatedly belching spheres of gas. Current theories about how young stars shed matter would not have predicted such eruptions. In order to remain stable while accumulating matter, young stars have to throw off some of the infalling material to avoid “spinning up” so fast they would break apart, according to those theories. But that infalling matter forms a thin spinning disk around the core of the new star, and material is ejected in twin “jets” perpendicular to the plane of the disk. Therefore, jets are expected, while spheres of gas are not.