Nuclear Fusion

I recently discovered an article titled, “Violent Star Collision Triggers Cosmic Fireworks Display“. Right off the bat, the title triggered me to read more. To be honest, I was not too excited about this conceptual objective because of the topic. I do not know too much about nuclear fusion but from what I know, it is not too fascinating. But, by coming across this article I was suddenly interested to learn more. The author, Samantha Mathewson, introduces the article by discussing the collision of two young stars, that sparked a fire work show that was described “like the Fourth of July”. This event happened from a view seen by Earth, about five hundred years ago. This took place in a region about 1,500 light-years from earth called Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC-1). OMC-1 is a dense and active stellar nursery. Over time, two adolescent protostars roaming about the molecular cloud gradually wandered too close to each other and collided, sending streams of gas, dust and other unborn star material out into interstellar space “at speeds greater than 150 kilometers per second,” according to the recent study. Scientists even declared that the explosion produced as much energy that our Sun emits over the course of ten million years. It’s safe to say that this was an everlasting event that some lucky viewers got to witness here on planet Earth. Due to the stars being so young, their formation in dense regions of a huge cloud of gas, are able to drift away spontaneously. This designs of a region is exactly what the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 was made of. On the contrary, if the young stars slow down, they tend to fall into some sort of a center gravity. In addition, if they get too close before dispersing into the galaxy, the stars can experience violent collisions. This is specifically viewed by the ALMA telescopes. Generally, the stellar explosion is very short-lived and remnants are only visible for centuries, according to scientists.


The purpose of our objective was successful be able to understand how stars form and produce energy in their cores by nuclear fusion. This directly relates to the article written by Mathewson in an immense way.  The article discusses the nature of young stars and the protostars in a molecular cloud. Stars are naturally born in dense, molecular regions. But, although they are all extremely dense, they are not all the same. Some are more dense than others may be. If a region is too dense, the cloud can simply collapse into smaller fragments. Because there was so much energy produced in this specific explosions, the remnants of it were able to be seen by the naked eye here on planet Earth.

I really enjoyed this article because it directly related to our thirteenth conceptual objective. I never really knew that some young stars can just rotate too close around each other, and can ultimately lead to a huge explosion. I never knew they had this effect on each other, and I never knew the specific factor is young stars. I strongly believe that this article helped connect what we learned during our class lecture as well as in our lecture-tutorial handbooks. We worked on the Star Formation and Lifetimes section. From this section, it explains that the life of star begins from a disturbance to a cloud of gas and dust, possibly a shock wave from a supernova. As mentioned above, the collapse of the gas and dust can cause this explosion. Overall, I believe that this article gave me a better understanding of how stars form and produce energy in their cores by nuclear fusion.


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