Sun-like stars may go through brighter phases as they grow up

Computer modelling supports the idea that nascent stars brighten dramatically during growth spurts, which could explain an astrophysical mystery


2 December 2021

Newborn stars appear as pink and red specks in the centre of this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

NASA/JPL-Caltech/P.S. Teixeira (Center for Astrophysics)

Powerful outbursts of energy from young sun-like stars could be central to how they and their planetary systems form, according to a modelling study. The results hint at a possible explanation for a decades-old astrophysical mystery.

One theory for how stars like our own are born, known as the steady-state concept, makes predictions about how bright young stars should be when they’re under construction, continuously gathering gas and dust. Yet when we …

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