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Cosmic pretzel feeds baby stars, fusion is his new graphene, is ‘Planet 9’ a tiny black hole?

4 Oct 2019, 16:14 UTC
Cosmic pretzel feeds baby stars, fusion is his new graphene, is ‘Planet 9’ a tiny black hole?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The above image shows two baby stars as they feed on a cosmic pretzel. Each star is surrounded by a circumstellar disc of dust and gas. Those discs are the two bright spots in the image and each disc is has a radius similar to the distance from the Sun to the asteroid belt. The distance between the stars is about 28 times the Sun-Earth distance.

The twisted filaments surrounding the two discs are also dust and gas that is feeding the two stars. The image was taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of radio telescopes, which is operated by the European Southern Observatory.
You can read more about how this remarkable image is shedding new light on star formation in “A cosmic pretzel”.
Astonishing claim
“Nuclear fusion has become his graphene”. It’s not every day that physics features in the endless political debate going on in the UK – but this quip made on BBC Radio 4 by the columnist Polly Toynbee made me chuckle. She was referring to the astonishing claim by the British prime minister that nuclear fusion will provide clean energy by 2040.
Clearly Boris Johnson didn’t get the memo that fusion energy ...

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