- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: Most Stars May Be Born as Twins
21 May 2010 3:54 pm
Break out the cigars! Astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have caught the first evidence that many—possibly most—binary stars hatch from the same cloud of dust, just as identical twins on Earth split from a single embryo. It turns out that some protostellar clouds, as they are called, often form irregular, elongated shapes instead of remaining spherical. Once that happens, it's much easier for the dust in the cloud to condense into two stars instead of one (six binary star systems in the making are shown above). Astronomers using Spitzer, whose infrared sensitivity can pierce the veil of dust and probe the starmaking process inside, found that 17 of the 20 protostellar clouds they peered into were considerably elongated. In addition, the other three clouds weren't quite spherical, either. And that may explain why most star systems in the Milky Way are binaries.
See more ScienceShots.