Astronomers Discover the 3D Structure of Interstellar Cloud Musca


Identifying the structure of space clouds seemed like “mission impossible” till now. But the ‘impossible’ turned into possible when two astronomers recognized the three-dimensional structure of Musca which is an interstellar cloud. The magnetic vibrations of this cloud were observed clearly as the cloud showed a ‘singing’ kind of pattern. The vibrations were being observed as hair-like formations. Konstantinos Tassis and Aris Tritsis are the names behind the successful identification of the 3D structure of Musca cloud. 

Musca is positioned in the southern sky. It is an interstellar cloud that will subside in future and make way for the formation of various star systems. The formation procedure has been shown clearly through the 3D cloud structure of Musca. It is worth mentioning here that studying space clouds through 3D structures and models are very helpful for scientists. Such 3D structures let them know that how many stars will be formed and what their type will be. 

Konstantinos Tassis, a renowned researcher at University of Crete (Greece) and co-author for the study of Musca, said that studying interstellar clouds through 3D structure has remained unfeasible for decades. However, the recently revealed 3D structure will be quite helpful in determining the breakdown of space clouds in tiny parts. The new structure will also provide significant insights on how the broken down components continue their journey to form different types of stars. 

Tassis and Tritsis, the two astronomers recognizing the 3D structure of Musca, now plan to reform this structure. According to Tassis, the reformation has to be done, but it is quite a tough task as researchers get to observe the space cloud only from the outlook of Earth and not from various other angles, as otherwise required. The reformation of this structure has been set with the objective to test and study the theoretical models of different interstellar clouds. The same will further provide help, support, and knowledge to scientists about the formation method of stars or how they are born.  

According to the researchers, the entire Musca cloud vibrates which looks like a kind of ‘singing’ pattern. This song kind of structure helped in finding out the 3D structure. Musca was chosen to study because of its exclusive, secluded location. The separate position provided better chances to study striations in comparison to other clouds which are not so isolated. Hopefully, the secret of how stars are formed inside molecular clouds will not remain a secret in the future!