Earth happens to be at the center of a giant star-giving bubble

Now researchers have discovered how the bubble and the young stars that surround us were formed.

Our solar system is located in the so-called “local bubble”; A “bubble” 1,000 light-years across is made up of hot, nearly empty space. Remarkably, we are surrounded by thousands of young stars that cling to the surface of the giant bubble. However, the burning question is how the local bell appeared, as well as the young stars around us. Furthermore, we are also located in the heart of the local bell. How is all this going? A new study sheds light.

local call
In this study, astronomers investigated the evolutionary history of our galaxy’s backyard. Earth lies at the center of a giant star-giving bubble. But we don’t know much about this yet. While astronomers have known about the existence of young stars for decades, the birth of the local bubble and its effect on the surrounding gas was a mystery until recently. “This is really an origin story,” said researcher Catherine Zucker. “For the first time, we can explain how all forms of nearby stars began.”

Supernova explosions
It is generally believed that our domestic bell – but also other cavities; We are not alone – the result of supernova explosions. The massive explosions of extremely rich stars, millions of years ago, made the surrounding space even more empty than it already was. In the new study, researchers found that a series of supernovae that occurred 14 million years ago pushed interstellar gas. This created the great “bubble” around us. “We calculated that there were about 15 supernovae over millions of years that eventually formed the local bubble as we see it today,” Zucker said.

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However, the oddly shaped bell does not sleep. Astronomers have noticed that it is growing slowly and steadily. “It’s expanding at 4 miles per second,” Zucker said. “However, it has lost most of its power and now remains fairly stable in terms of speed.”

Artist’s impression of the local bubble, with stars forming on the surface. Scientists have now shown how a series of events that occurred 14 million years ago led to the formation of a huge bubble, which is responsible for the formation of all young stars within 500 light-years of the Sun and Earth. Photo: Leah Hostek

Today, there are seven known star-forming regions or molecular clouds – regions of space in which stars appear – on the surface of the Local Bubble. In fact, all young stars and star-forming regions – within 500 light-years of Earth – are here. By the way, this is not a coincidence. The supernova explosions that formed the local bubble simultaneously create an ideal surface for star formation.

cheese with holes
To explain the search more simply; Think big hole cheese. Holes in the cheese are caused by supernova explosions. Then new stars form in the cheese around the holes left by the dying stars.

Interestingly enough, the land is at the heart of the local bell. By the way, we should look for nothing more than a coincidence. “When the first stars in supernovae exploded, our sun was still far from all the action,” said researcher Joao Alves. About five million years ago, the path of the Sun crossed the bell. And now our sun is – coincidentally – almost at the heart of the local bell. ”

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Knowing that superbubbles like the Local Bubble are not rare, the researchers plan to draw more interstellar bubbles. This way they want to get a complete picture of their sites and all the shapes and sizes that they happen to be. By studying these fascinating bubbles and their relationships to each other, astronomers hope to eventually understand the role dying stars play in the “birth” of new stars. Researchers also want to get a better picture of the structure and evolution of galaxies like our own Milky Way.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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