The astronomers have been able to witness the formation of a multiple-star system in the first stages of its creation for the very first time ever. Multiple star systems consist of two or more stars orbiting each other. Though they are believed to be the most common type of stellar systems in the Milky Way, not much was known about their formation.
But now, a research team led by Jaime Pineda, a researcher at the Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, said that Very Large Array (VLA) and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) helped them see the multiple star system in its early creation stages.
The team of these star gazers was able to see a dense core of gas called Barnard 5, where younger stars are developing in the constellation Perseus, situated at a distance of 800 light-years from our planet. B5 harbors a young protostar and a triumvirate of dense condensations.
The researchers examined B5 by using the GBT and VLA, together with the assistance of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT).
Stella Offner, an astrophysicist from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, had already created model predictions about the way a two- and three-star system forms, and this discovery proves them right.
After obersving the entire process, the team predicted that the gaseous clouds are expected to collapse into grown stars in another 40,000 years.
They believe that it may develop into a stable triple-star system, although they forecast a potentiality of four stars.
The researchers said the clusters of gas, located in B5, will create stars that will be around 0.1 to 0.33 solar masses, the measure regarding the mass of the Sun. They added that the distances between them will be 3,000 to 11,000 astronomical units (AU).
Offne said, “We think at least three of these stars will eventually become a stable gravitationally bound triple star system. This system will contain two inner stars orbiting each other around a common centre of gravity, with the third, more distant, outer star orbiting the pair”.
The researchers hope that watching the early stages of formation of a multiple star system will help them understand how these systems are born.