How Are Stars Formed? (Astronomy)


When you look up at night, the chances are that you will find more than a few stars hanging in the clouds and shining ever so gloriously for the world to see. As tiny as they seem, they are mighty atoms much bigger than the human eye can comprehend. But how are stars formed?

A star is formed when light atoms are squeezed under pressure until their nuclei experience fusion. They are caused by the balancing forces that compress the atoms until fusions occur. As soon as the fusion begins, the atoms then begin to release external pressure, and the pressures are all equal in volume. 

When analyzing cosmic forces, scientists have come to understand that the gas in the galaxies is similar to ours here on Earth, and these gas clouds are called nebulae. Nebulae develop over many years and contain sufficient mass to create thousands of stars as big as the sun. Much of the gas in nebulae has molecular hydrogen and helium, including other elements. There are also a few other organic molecules still under study.

Another thing we have noticed is that atoms don’t exist in isolation but are remnants of older stars that have died out.

The Birth Of Stars

Like we have pointed out in a previous paragraph, stars are birthed when gas clouds compress and fuse. However, it is the irregularities in gas density that cause gravitational forces to pull gas molecules together. Astronomers believe that this gravitational pull causes a sort of magnetic disturbance that will cause nebulae to collapse.

So therefore, as gas collation continues, the cloud losses energy, which forces an increase in temperature. A cloud collapsing due to gas increases is broken into several clouds of smaller sizes, some of which may become stars. 

A Cloud’s Core

Also, note that the core of a cloud collapses much faster than its outer layers, making it much lighter. This lightweight is for its faster rotation to conserve its angular movement. 

Once the core reaches a peak temperature of roughly 2000 degrees Kelvin, its molecules will break and form independent hydrogen atoms. The rising temperature will continue, and once it reaches 10,000 degrees Kelvin,  the star will begin to form because, at this stage, fusion will begin to occur. Eventually, it will collapse to 30 times the Sun’s size and form a Protostar.

Stars May Be Formed In Groups

There is a debate among astronomers that stars may be formed in groups. This position continues to be debated because stars seem to come alive in sets. This remains a topic of controversy because star formation remains a mysterious topic. However, it is true that some stars do form in groups since larger clouds break into smaller clouds, and it is the smaller ones that eventually transform into stars due to fusion.

Some stars form in dozens and into hundreds or thousands, depending on gas fusion and cloud size. However, in each cluster are various masses. Due to the cloud breakage, it is more than likely that stars are hardly ever formed one at a time but in groups. The larger stars are rare compared to smaller ones that are more common. But despite their small sizes, they are as big as the sun or much bigger.

The Hubble Telescope has been used to probe different star clusters to ascertain their relationships using spectroscopy. By taking a precise observational measurement, scientists can determine the intrinsic brightness and temperature. This method has been used to gain an understanding of the nature of star formation, stellar evolution, and physics.

Stars Were First Formed With The Beginning Of The Universe

Research has shown that stars are as old as the universe itself, and many of them have lived first thousands of years. Scientists put the timeline at about 13 billion years ago. They first appeared as massive clusters and remained until the time when they began to evolve. With these clusters, their origin can be traced back to earlier times. 

Fortunately, the Hubble telescope has revealed major differences between these clusters using their chemistry. Further evidence has also shown that some of the clusters contain multiple generations of stars inside them.

The Demise Of Stars

We have explained how stars are formed, but how do they die? The science behind it is not as complex as the science behind its formation. Stars eventually die after the nuclear fuel inside them is exhausted. Larger stars explode once their fuel runs out, and this phenomenon is called a supernova. Amazingly, after they explode and die out, they leave behind black holes and neutrons, or in some cases, nothing at all. Records show that the last supernova experienced on Earth was in 1987, when light from one supernova from the Milky Way satellite galaxies reached Earth. Before then, the only one recorded was back in the 1600s.

Stars are formed by gas fusion, and they can leave for thousands of years before they run out of fuel and die out. But when they some leave behind a black hole or a neutron star.