Giant Space Clouds Sing to their structure


Two scientists have found out the 3D structure of an interstellar cloud in a unique way. The clouds appeared to “sing” with the magnetic vibrations. The interstellar cloud which is called the Musca is supposed to be located in the southern sky which is situated just south of Crux, considered to be a Southern Cross Constellation. It is believed to form star systems as it breaks down over time and the 3D structure of the cloud is heading that formation process. To understand further in respect of clouds like Musca, what are their composition and the type and the number of stars they are capable of forming, scientists will require further detailed study.

According to Konstantinos Tassis who is the co-author brand new study of the Musca as well as a researcher at the University of Crete in Greece that the 3D formation of the interstellar clouds has been basis for finding out how clouds break up into smaller pieces and how these smaller fragments go on to become stars. Tassis along with the astronomer Aris Tritsis who is in the Australian National University will be reconstructing the 3D structure of Musca and thereby try to test the theoretical models of the interstellar clouds and also find out how stars are born.

These two scientists studied the cloud vibration process, which is encoded in striations or you may say the hair-like structure that engulfs it. The Musca vibrates due to magnetic effect or rather “sings” as the researchers put it. The “song” is what made the researchers decide about the 3D structure of the clouds. Tassis has said that it is a very challenging job to recreate the 3D structure. This is a tough job because of the act that the researchers cannot see the clouds from different angles but only from the Earth’s perspective. Pancakes, for instance, look different from different angles, and as such, it becomes difficult to identify the right shape. The same holds true for clouds as well.

The team which is studying the pattern chose Musca mainly because of its striations re relatively less complicated than others. From the very beginning, Musca has been considered as needle-shaped since it is a textbook example of the filamentary cloud. However, the scientists were quite taken aback due to the fact the striation pattern suggested that the real shape of the cloud is that of pancake.