Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Space Telescope Reveals Weird Star Cluster Conundrum

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the weird-space dept.

Space 80

astroengine (1577233) writes "We thought we had star formation mechanisms pinned down, but according to new observations of two star clusters, it seems our understanding of how stars are born is less than stellar. When zooming in on the young star clusters of NGC 2024 (in the center of the Flame Nebula) and the Orion Nebula Cluster, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory teamed up with infrared telescopes to take a census of star ages. Conventional thinking suggests that stars closest to the center of a given star cluster should be the oldest and the youngest stars can be found around the edges. However, to their surprise, astronomers have discovered that the opposite is true: 'Our findings are counterintuitive,' said Konstantin Getman of Penn State University, lead scientist of this new study. 'It means we need to think harder and come up with more ideas of how stars like our sun are formed.'"

cancel ×

80 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's pretty simple, really (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946555)

A couple of billion years ago, stars *did* form from the gravitational collapse of vast clouds of dust and gas. But around that time, the Tenctonese in Andromeda went through their 3D printing revolution and ever since then, most stars are 3D printed. It's the future, and only Luddites would think otherwise.

Re:It's pretty simple, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946871)

That's the first fucking funny thing you've said in years, QA. You're still going to die of old age, but it's nice to see you're slowly recovering.

Re:It's pretty simple, really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946925)

And you're still not going to live on Mars, or eat asteroid sherbet in a space hotel while sucking Elon's musky smegma. No one's going anywhere, you dumbshit.

Might as well laugh!

(Oh and thanks for wishing me a long life, Nutter! All the more to watch your face when reality finally sinks into that neutronium-plated skull of yours!)

I really object to this (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946563)

I don't care how fucking convenient and dramatic it sounds to imply that effectively, "we thought we knew almost everything" about a subject - in the eyes of doubters of science, this is taken literally and used to discredit science, time and time again.

Why write that shit? To the untrained eye it says "this just in: science WRONG again!".

Re:I really object to this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946605)

The universe is spooky and weird! We don't want to know that shit!! Ban telescopes immediately!!!

Re:I really object to this (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#46946821)

in the eyes of doubters of science, this is taken literally and used to discredit science, time and time again.

Why write that shit? To the untrained eye it says "this just in: science WRONG again!".

Why the fuck should we care about the eyes of doubters of science?! Under no circumstance should we change our behavior to please those who refuse to think.

If someone believes science is wrong it's his problem, not ours.

Suppressing information to not disturb the flimsy grasp of reality makes no sense. Let our knowledge be seen, the successes and the mistakes, and let those who cover their eyes live in their puerile fantasies.

Re:I really object to this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46948269)

Why the fuck should we care about the eyes of doubters of science?! Under no circumstance should we change our behavior to please those who refuse to think.

Unfortunately,as an actual science working on a federal grant, you have to care about doubters because they can affect public policy and funding decisions even for non-controversial work. Even if most of the politicians aren't actually in that category, they'll feign interest in such people to help their own agenda. And in the bigger picture, part of a scientists job should be trying to make their work accessible to as many people as possible.

It also doesn't help that a large amount of the general population has a very twisted sense of what actual science work and progress is like due to hyperbole in news covering science...

Re:I really object to this (2)

arse maker (1058608) | about 5 months ago | (#46948297)

I think the point they were making was not to stop doing science, or publishing. Instead its the problem with the reporting of science. Everything has to have drama and conflict.

The news makes it seem like every new paper is a paradigm changing event. Where as from the point of view of people who are doing this work its another piece of information to help improve our understanding.

The biggest problems is when popular news makes people think science is just stories, it seems to change every other week from one extreme to the other, so with overwhelming scientific facts like evolution and climate change people think its just some "theory" that is just as likely to be proven wrong tomorrow.

Its a difficult balance to find the best match between the public's hunger for science news and the sensational nature of reporting.

This IS Science! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46949363)

Looking at the data and publicly admitting your pet theory is wrong is Science.

Looking at the data and adjusting it to fit your model is Climate 'Science'.

Re:I really object to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46950781)

Why the fuck should we care about the eyes of doubters of science?! Under no circumstance should we change our behavior to please those who refuse to think.

If someone believes science is wrong it's his problem, not ours.

Hey, I don't believe in sky fairies, either, but Holy Shit, they are only scientific theories; they may be wrong.

Do you not realize that if you substitute the word Christianity for science, your sentence still makes perfect sense.

Or are you just an ignorant fuck?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Re:I really object to this (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46946971)

Except for yesterday when Science made the announcement that they created a simulation of the universe that worked out perfectly... though I'm not sure if that means that today stars are formed in the center and move outwards and yesterday they stayed in the center...

Wait, what is science supposed to know? And why should science be against admitting that half the stuff they 'know' they don't really 'know'? Isn't that the whole point, to show that science is constantly approaching a workable approximation of reality, which it couldn't do if it actually 'knew' anything?

Re:I really object to this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46948295)

Except that simulation mentioned yesterday didn't have the resolution to see processes discussed here, wasn't claiming to be perfect, and wasn't published in Science.

Re:I really object to this (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 5 months ago | (#46946997)

To the untrained eye it says "this just in: science WRONG again!".

And isn't it awesome? More stuff to learn, new things to unearth! One of the coolest science shows I've seen recently is Neil deGrasse Tyson's "the inexplicable universe" lectures - all about things we do not understand yet.
It doesn't matter all that much that quite a few people think that science being wrong is a bad thing, as long as enough actual scientists know that science being wrong is how it works. Without science finding wrong bits or inexplicable bits how would we know where to keep digging and looking for better explanations?

And in the mean time, those of us who know how it works can keep enlightening those that don't with stories of the coolness of our universe and science. Every kid I know is fascinated by many cool things they can find out about in science. Dinosaurs, flight, space travel, the variety of life forms, menthos bottle rockets, slow motion explosions and car crash physics, growing things in the garden, there is SO MUCH out there that doesn't even take an effort to get them interested in. Take a 6-year old around the Science Museum in London, and you'll find their curiosity will inspire you to learn more about everything. They'll come up with questions you can't answer, and you'll have to look things up together and figure it out, and it's just totally awesome.
Mankind is inherently curious. Don't let a minority of (admittedly very vocal) conservative (lifestyle, not politics) old fogeys drain you of your curiosity and excitement about being wrong.

Re: I really object to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947617)

You can't discedit the scientific method, only the current hypothesis explaning star formation. Questioning and testing such hypothesis is the heart of science which does quite the opposite of "discrediting" it even if you defend the hypothesis as your personal religion.

Re:I really object to this (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#46948893)

And, to a scientist's eye (or anyone who knows how science works), saying "the established science is wrong" is very exciting. Unlike the bible which never changes* despite new evidence, science adapts. As old theories are proven to be incomplete or wrong, they are either fixed or ditched entirely to make way for new theories. Science is never considered "100% right", but it is always "the best approximation we have at the time given the available evidence."

Unfortunately, as I've seen first hand, some religious types consider changing to adapt to new evidence as scary and a weakness and staying the same no matter what to be safe and a strength. Thus, the unchanging bible* is good and changing science is bad/scary.

* While these religious folks like to think of the bible as unchanging and the text is (in most cases over short-term history) unchanging, the interpretations of it can change wildly. Case in point: Slavery is condemned by most religious folks now but, pre-Civil War, many religious people rationalized slavery saying that the bible clearly showed how some people were supposed to be slaves to other people. In short, the "bible is unchanging" argument is garbage because the bible can say pretty much anything you want it to say.

Re:I really object to this (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 5 months ago | (#46952545)

And, to a scientist's eye (or anyone who knows how science works), saying "the established science is wrong" is very exciting. Unlike the bible which never changes* despite new evidence, science adapts. As old theories are proven to be incomplete or wrong, they are either fixed or ditched entirely to make way for new theories. Science is never considered "100% right", but it is always "the best approximation we have at the time given the available evidence."

Unfortunately, as I've seen first hand, some religious types consider changing to adapt to new evidence as scary and a weakness and staying the same no matter what to be safe and a strength.

If anyone thought "science knew everything" or anything like that, then they need to take a long, hard look at science and realize that it does not.

Thus, the unchanging bible* is good and changing science is bad/scary.

* While these religious folks like to think of the bible as unchanging and the text is (in most cases over short-term history) unchanging, the interpretations of it can change wildly. Case in point: Slavery is condemned by most religious folks now but, pre-Civil War, many religious people rationalized slavery saying that the bible clearly showed how some people were supposed to be slaves to other people. In short, the "bible is unchanging" argument is garbage because the bible can say pretty much anything you want it to say.

And now to digress...

1) Your point on slavery has nothing to do with the "bible changing" or even its interpretation. The bible still says the same thing it always has regarding slavery, and the interpretation is the same. The difference is the popular opinion that slavery in any form is bad; the American Civil War occurred as the world-wide opinion on slavery was changing.

2) It's been shown that the Greek and Hebrew texts have been shown to be unchanged for quite a long time. The greek texts have more contraversy around them as they didn't have the same practices; but the Hebrew texts for the Old Testament have been shown to have not changed for well over 2000 years. They have yet find a canonical Hebrew text (one that is not known to be writing error or a commentary) that has a change. Per the Greek texts - they have been shown to mostly be unchanged and the contraversy is around areas where people suspect that a copier put in some commentary and another copier couldn't tell whether it was or not, or what someone at sometime may have considered a grammatical correction, etc - even in those cases, there's very little of it and its nearly all of it doesn't change the meaning, or translation/interpretations (e.g grammatical changes are usually additions of articles that could have been implied).

Re:I really object to this (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#46952955)

1) I know that the "bible changing" on slavery was interpretation only. Unfortunately, too many religious folks confuse "what the bible says" with "what some person interprets it to say." The former (exact wording) doesn't change except in exceptional circumstances (translations, mostly). The latter changes all the time. In fact, you could go to five different religious scholars and get five different answers as to what a section of text means. But those same religious folks who tout the bible as being so good because (in part) it is unchanging are usually the same ones who will tout their interpretation of the bible's text as being the "unchanging truth."

2) When I said "in most cases over short-term history", I was thinking specifically about translations of the text. I can go into my local synagogue and pick up five printed versions of the Torah. The Hebrew will be the same in each but the English will vary in spots. Then you get things like the King James Bible where people look at the "Old Testament" and don't read/study the original Hebrew but study a translation made hundreds of years ago.

Re:I really object to this (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 5 months ago | (#46958829)

The latter changes all the time. In fact, you could go to five different religious scholars and get five different answers as to what a section of text means.

If you only get 5 different translations you may be doing good. More likely than not, each will have their own translation but will also provide one or more alternate translations. This is the case whenever any kind of translation is involved namely because translating language is not a 1:1 translation - more likely than not the words in one language will have nuances that are not existent in the other language, or will have a one to many translation.

But those same religious folks who tout the bible as being so good because (in part) it is unchanging are usually the same ones who will tout their interpretation of the bible's text as being the "unchanging truth."

Mostly because the majority of people reading the Bible know absolutely nothing about translating and the original texts. They'll be lucky if the pastor/reverend/preacher/minister they are listening to even references the original language of the text in the sermons.

And all too often those same pastors/reverends/preachers/ministers rely on whatever they were taught in seminary was the "one true translation" and just stick with it and not really dig into the original language much if at all, again relying on commentaries and others to do the majority of the work for them. Now contrast this with their equivalents 200-400 years ago and those were people that generally read and understood the original texts.

While the propogation of the Bible in numerous languages has certainly brought it to many more people to read and understand, it has also lead to many preaching from it professionally (e.g. ministers, preachers, etc) not understanding the original text.

Re:I really object to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46955851)

If anyone thought "science knew everything" or anything like that, then they need to take a long, hard look at science and realize that it does not.

I don't think I've met in person anyone over the age of 12 that thought science knew everything. But I've met quite a few people who thought scientists and/or pro-science types believed science knew everything.

Re:I really object to this (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 5 months ago | (#46958743)

If anyone thought "science knew everything" or anything like that, then they need to take a long, hard look at science and realize that it does not.

I don't think I've met in person anyone over the age of 12 that thought science knew everything. But I've met quite a few people who thought scientists and/or pro-science types believed science knew everything.

Outside of /. and the media, I'd say that's generally true.

how our sun were formed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946615)

God did it.

Love,
Republican Jebus

yoga accessories coupons (-1, Offtopic)

yoga accessories (3621755) | about 5 months ago | (#46946665)

Cozy Orange offers affordable, eco-conscious women's performance active wear and yoga clothes including Yoga Pants, yoga shorts, yoga tanks, and more yoga Apparel.

"That's funny..." (5, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | about 5 months ago | (#46946669)

This reminds me of one of favorite Isaac Asimov quotes:

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny..."

I hope this leads them to go get more data in addition to thinking harder and coming up with ideas.

Re:"That's funny..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946711)

You're not funny.

No, that's not funny. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46951533)

According to /. moderation, it's "insightful". Very different from "funny" - it means Hazem is gaining karma for posting something positive and meaningful.

Re:No, that's not funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46961617)

Mmell: Yer bein' called out. Why ya runnin', "forrest" http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ?

Now, THAT's funny! (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46962751)

Are you this guy [mailto] ? The Start64 malware site [start64.com] shows the following:

Company: Panisz Peter

Address: Kossuth Lajos u. 51 Dunabogdany 2023 HU

Phone: +36.203367173

Fax: +36.203367173

But I think he's living at his mother Jan Kowalski's basement at:

Alexander Peter Kowalski

903 East Division Street

Syracuse, N.Y. 13208

Apartment #1, Lower Level

At least, that's where he wants users of his hostfile manager to send him money.

Re:Now, THAT's funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46963675)

Mmell: Yer bein' called out. Why ya runnin', "forrest" http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] ?

Re:"That's funny..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946991)

Exactly! And no one even needed to leave the surface of the Earth to explore those stars! Almost as if the antique notions of the 1960s Space Age have been replaced by new technologies!

You don't need to send a test pilot in rubber pants to "get a better view", you just use 10000 computers in a cluster to analyze data!

Re:"That's funny..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947415)

This reminds me of one of favorite Isaac Asimov quotes:

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny..."

In engineering that usually means that something is about to blow up into someones face.

Whenever I hear someone say "That's funny" I take a step back.

Re:"That's funny..." (2)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 5 months ago | (#46950533)

In engineering that usually means that something is about to blow up into someones face.

It takes an engineer to make a scientist's work truly dangerous.

Engineering != Science. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46951551)

Science figures it out. Engineers figure out how to use it without burning our fingers.

Re:Engineering != Science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46961623)

Mmell: Yer bein' called out. Why ya runnin', "forrest" http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ?

You give A/C's a bad name. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46962755)

Let me guess - Are you this guy [mailto] ? The Start64 malware site [start64.com] shows the following:

Company: Panisz Peter

Address: Kossuth Lajos u. 51 Dunabogdany 2023 HU

Phone: +36.203367173

Fax: +36.203367173

But I think he's living at his mother Jan Kowalski's basement at:

Alexander Peter Kowalski

903 East Division Street

Syracuse, N.Y. 13208

Apartment #1, Lower Level

At least, that's where he wants users of his hostfile manager to send him money.

Re:You give A/C's a bad name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46963669)

Mmell: Yer bein' called out. Why ya runnin', "forrest" http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] ?

Cue the creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946677)

Someone should tell Ken Ham that, again, one scientific prediction about the universe suggested to not hold for all possible cases. Therefore Jesus.

Re:Cue the creationists (1)

narcc (412956) | about 5 months ago | (#46947003)

Keep beating that dead horse!

Re: Cue the creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947629)

The more you mention us, the more interested people will be in the variety of our dissenting opinions. Thank you

Re: Cue the creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947767)

This is what I think keeps things lively. It isn't that you're wrong, or even HOW wrong you are, it is the interesting variety of ways that you are wrong.

+1 Punny (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946791)

it seems our understanding of how stars are born is less than stellar.

A shining example of +1 Punny.

Re:+1 Punny (1)

liamoohay (765499) | about 5 months ago | (#46950445)

it seems our understanding of how stars are born is less than stellar.

A shining example of +1 Punny.

Nah. Whoever wrote that wasn't very bright.

Re:+1 Punny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46950585)

That's not the one that struck me:

We thought we had star formation mechanisms pinned down

Orly? According to who?

ORLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946809)

The findings once again neatly confirm cosmologists' standard theory of the basic ingredients of the universe and how it evolved from s/ash.

  it seems our understanding of how stars are born is less than stellar.

Physicists (whether it be on the cosmos or climate change) are starting to sound like Richard Nixon spin doctors. Which is it? Because I know where my money is - they don't know..and therefore should stop claiming they do. I'd like a lot more funding for experimental physics and a lot less for the theoretical variety, at least until it deserves funding.

Re:ORLY? (4, Informative)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 5 months ago | (#46947081)

Physicists (whether it be on the cosmos or climate change) are starting to sound like Richard Nixon spin doctors. Which is it?

The reporters who present the physicists findings are usually the ones putting a spin on it.

Unless it is qunatum mechanic (1)

aepervius (535155) | about 5 months ago | (#46948489)

Then we physicist put our own spin on it :).

Re:ORLY? (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 5 months ago | (#46953283)

Integral or non-integral spin?

Re:ORLY? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 5 months ago | (#46955201)

Reporters with integrity are few and far between.

A Universe of Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946841)

Intuition often follows popular knowledge found in different fields. The distribution of ages of stars in a star cluster are not following the popular notion of growth-rings in a tree trunk cross-section. They might be explained by a uniform distribution of nova that collectively push the bulk of gas debris farther away from the center of the star cluster than the edge of the cluster. Now consider our solar system with its giant gas-planets farther away from the sun. It makes sense that the inner part of the star cluster blew itself out the same way lighter elements blew out farther from our sun. This might make a higher concentration of gas debris in the outter part of the star cluster that should collapse into making more stars sooner than the lower concentration of debris remaining in the inner part of the star cluster, which would have to wait for gas to either fall back into the center of gravity of the star cluster or wait for the higher concentration of outter stars to push their nova debris back toward the center of the star cluster to form new stars. This is a star cluster formation rebound. If this is true, then the star formation rebounding may be part of an oscillation that if compared to other star clusters may identify a frequency formula that could determine the age of the star cluster and the probability of new star formation within a star cluster. This may lead to explain other great attractive forces in the universe.

Counter-intuitive? (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46946895)

Sounds logical to me, after all, we aren't talking about solar system formation.

Cue the electric universe people to come tell us their magnetic-dynamo repulsion theory.

Mormon explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946911)

It's Mitt's planet Kolob, it flip-flopped

Easy answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46946935)

All they need to do is look at a virtual universe and figure it out because they know what they are doing.

Astrophysicists Build Realistic Virtual Universe [slashdot.org]

old news! (4, Funny)

cripkd (709136) | about 5 months ago | (#46947001)

Of course they need to re-evaluate how our sun was formed. It' 5000 years old!

Compression of the gas cloud by shock waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947069)

That's why the older stars are on the outside, it's not gravitational collapse gets enough mass together in a hurry, it's shockwaves from nearby bangs.

Checkmate Atheists (-1, Troll)

Swampash (1131503) | about 5 months ago | (#46947345)

Turns out your beloved "science" doesn't have all the answers like you thought.

Re:Checkmate Atheists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947637)

This just proofs that science is not a religion, it is not expected to have all the answers.
If you think it should have then you are pretty clueless about it.

Re: Checkmate Atheists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947645)

Science is a set of proven methods bro. You want to be talking about a hypothesis, or even a theory or the biased and faulty interpretation of data. Nice to see a dissenting opinion though

Re: Checkmate Atheists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947731)

Edison and Jesus both operated under broadly defined principles. But when I turn on a light bulb, I don't read a physics handbook. And when I feed the poor I don't consult the Bible first.
Now, Jesus knew that man does not live by bread alone, and Edison knew that inventing stuff costs money. But both of them spent more time working on the problem than talking about it.
Which really doesn't have anything to do with your point, because Slashdot.

Re: Checkmate Atheists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947921)

Nice to see a dissenting opinion though

THAT is a dissenting opinion? It would be nice to see an informed or even weakly argued opinion that goes beyond "nyaa-nyaa."

Re:Checkmate Atheists (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#46948933)

The day that science has all the answers all the time will be a very sad day indeed. Half of the fun of science is finding new things and saying "That shouldn't be doing that..." (Of course, while science doesn't have *all* the answers, it is much closer to the answers than anything else we have.)

Re:Checkmate Atheists (2)

Tyler Durden (136036) | about 5 months ago | (#46949337)

Believing that no gods exist does not necessitate the belief that science (or anything else for that matter) can come up with "all of the answers".

Re:Checkmate Atheists (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 5 months ago | (#46953215)

Who thought science had all the answers? I don't know anybody who thinks that.

One science article without a weird bent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947391)

Can we have one science article that doesn't essentially say "everything we ever knew is wrong"... stop sensationalizing this crap. It's more than just annoying, it's anti-intellectualist

Re: One science article without a weird bent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46948383)

This theist agrees

Re:One science article without a weird bent? (1)

mbone (558574) | about 5 months ago | (#46949075)

Can we have one science article that doesn't essentially say "everything we ever knew is wrong"...

Based on experience, no.

Spinning and expansion (1)

dkman (863999) | about 5 months ago | (#46947917)

If I have a spinning thing, and objects form near the center then get spun out I would observe both affects discussed here.
A) objects form near the center
B) older objects are toward the outside (younger objects near the center)

Since we've been observing expansion of the galaxy it would be logical to assume "these things expand in general". I don't see a problem.

So in conclusion, the assumption that older objects would be in the center was the flawed logic.

Re:Spinning and expansion (1)

hubie (108345) | about 5 months ago | (#46947951)

If you read TFA they eventually go beyond the breathless statements highlighted earlier in the article and repeated in the summary above ("everything we thought was wrong!") and talk about other possibilities. I don't see how this makes one need to reevaluate what we've thought before. A gas cloud is not uniform and has density perturbations in it. It is most likely that newer stars will form in the center where the densities are higher, but it doesn't mean that they can't form on the outside.

Re:Spinning and expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947959)

Umm that is not how expansion works.

Re:Spinning and expansion (1)

dkman (863999) | about 5 months ago | (#46949529)

What I was referring to is Centrifugal force. Viewing the "area" where this group of stars is, then saying that the "center". The whole mass is spinning and the older stars are being thrown toward the outside of the area.

Therefore, the actual area where the stars are appears to be expanding. Not that any individual object is expanding.

In other words, if I draw a circle around the solar system then wait a billion years and do it again...if the planets are further from the sun I can say that the solar system is expanding. No expansion really happened, things just moved around, but that's the nuance of language.

Re:Spinning and expansion (1)

Urkki (668283) | about 5 months ago | (#46956323)

What I was referring to is Centrifugal force.

There's no centrifugal force, only centripetal force caused by mutual attraction. Except if you do funny and unnecessarily complex coordinate transformations. Which you possibly couldn't do if you happened to be tied to a human-sized centrifuge and about to be squished by those forces.

Re:Spinning and expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958379)

Except if you do funny and unnecessarily complex coordinate transformations.

Except it isn't that complex to those with some basic vector algebra skills and in many cases very convenient as opposed to unnecessary, simplifying a problem. It is easier to tell intro level physics students not to use accelerating frames because you need a bit more care and at that level caveats get forgotten too easily. But a lot of things get glossed over or dumbed down for intro level physics, yet still are useful and straightforward at higher levels.

Birth. Life. Death. (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46947949)

I have always wondered if we would find out we are wrong about star mechanics. If this is enough of a problem that the process of star birth ends up being heavily revised, I am left wondering if we will also have to revise our theories on the properties of a main sequence star, and star death. It is said that the current estimate for the sun's ability to sustain life on Earth is around a billion years and that it will puff up and finally go nova in about five-billion years. It would be disappointing to find out that the life of our sun is overestimated by five-billion years.

Anyway, I am really not qualified to even have that thought, but at least it would probably make for a good science-fiction story.

Re:Birth. Life. Death. (1)

arse maker (1058608) | about 5 months ago | (#46948349)

I doubt it. While there is many things we will learn the basic reaction of gravity ~ heat + hydrogen to helium is well understood by quantum mechanics. We have billions of examples of stars to cross check this. Comparing mentality of stars against their evolution.

On the bright side, even if we only have 1 million years left, if we haven't left earth by then its only because we have already killed ourselves.

Re:Birth. Life. Death. (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46948701)

I am equally in doubt. I do understand the body of science that says things are as they are and it's pretty much indisputable. I was merely musing. It would be quite a surprise after all. I'm surprised I got a single mod point out of that. I sometimes ponder how humanity would react if we discovered that we had only a few hundred years to evacuate the planet, even the solar system.

Re:Birth. Life. Death. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46948911)

There wasn't a human species a million years ago, and there won't be one in another million years. Evolution is still happening.

Why? (1)

mbone (558574) | about 5 months ago | (#46949053)

Conventional thinking suggests that stars closest to the center of a given star cluster should be the oldest and the youngest stars can be found around the edges.

Does anyone understand why this conventional wisdom took hold?

These are open clusters. Over time, stars will leave the region of their birth. That would suggest to me that the oldest stars would be on the edges, and the newest, in the center, which was exactly what was observed. So why, exactly, was the prior belief the opposite?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46951575)

This is exactly the problem. I'm an astronomer working on star formation, and I don't know a single person in the field who thinks that older stars would be found in the center of the clusters/dark cloud. You will find young stars wherever the gas and dust is densest, and that is most likely to be at the center. Sounds like the PR folks couldn't come up with a better way to hype the results.

How does gravity pull gas through filaments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46949497)

The article states ...

"Thirdly, the young stars could be formed in the cluster’s center by filaments of gas and dust that fall into the center of the cluster. This could be envisaged as a sort of “conveyer belt” effect where older stars are replaced in the core by new stars being created by in-falling material."

Why would dust form into filaments based upon the force of gravity? What keeps the filaments together?

To make a filament, you generally need rotation. And to get the rotation, you need a magnetic field. And since magnetic fields generally go hand-in-hand with electric currents, you might as well call these filaments a plasma.

Halton Arp (1)

osschar (442236) | about 5 months ago | (#46949877)

I'm not going to push this too much as it's an astro heresy ... but I found it an interesting read:
http://www.haltonarp.com/articles

And How (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46950003)

I'm guessing the answer lies within the way that dark matter and the higgs field interact with each other, thus assisting in the accretion process while gravity pulls the gas in and voila! A start is born.

Why are the stars on the outer edge younger, because the Dark Matter is building up all around the gaseous nebulae. I'm betting that the finding in the article is a fluke of sorts in that the build up of Dark Matter around a Gaseous body is random in a sense and dependent upon gravitational forces from nearby bodies.

I'm curious to see what the Math will show about why the stars are younger at the outer edge of these Nebulae.

Conventional thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46953353)

Conventional thinking suggests that " ...stars closest to the center of a given star cluster should be the oldest and the youngest stars can be found around the edges. "???

if new stars are being generated from the center and the cluster is expanding wouldn't "conventional thinking" suggest that young stars would be at the inside of the elder stars?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?