A rotationally supported disk can only form in a dense, collapsing cloud of gas and dust with a magnetic field, if the tiny grains are removed from the cloud by growing or coagulating into bigger grains. This is the result from a new study published by researchers at the MPE and other institutions. The more realistic simulations now take into account non-ideal magneto-hydrodynamics and ionization chemistry to form a rotationally supported protostellar disk.
Two laboratory experiments built in the CAS group at MPE have now achieved “first light”. Both experiments are designed to support astronomical observations and astrochemical modeling of molecules by probing their rotational transitions in the laboratory. These laboratory studies enable the scientists to measure transition frequencies with high precision in the frequency range available at major long-wavelength telescopes such as IRAM NOEMA and ALMA. The new molecular studies in the CAS laboratories will be used as powerful new tools to understand the physical and chemical properties of interstellar clouds, where stars and planets form.
An international team of astrophysicists has witnessed a unique event: for the first time, researchers have discovered the formation of a quadruple star system from widely separated fragments of a filamentary gas cloud in the Perseus constellation.
An international research team led by scientists from the CRC 956 “Conditions and Impact of Star Formation” has used observations with SOFIA and APEX to date the core of an interstellar cloud that is forming a group of Sun-like stars. This work, to which scientists from the MPE contributed, is published in this week’s Nature journal.
From April 2014, a new group will study interstellar molecules and use them to explore the entire star and planet formation process at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Newly appointed director Paola Caselli will head the “Centre for Astrochemical Studies at MPE” or CAS@MPE, bringing together theorists, observers and laboratory scientists in one place. This unique combination of expertise is needed to finally make progress on the origin of organic molecules in space as well as our astrochemical origins.