Research report 2020 - Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
The cosmic commute towards star and planet formation
Henshaw, Jonathan D.
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg
SummaryThe molecular material in giant molecular gas clouds travels along intricate networks of filamentary gas lanes towards the congested centres of gas and dust where it is compressed into stars and planets. Astronomers have measured the motion of gas flowing from galaxy scales down to the dimensions of the gas clumps within which individual stars form. Their results show that the gas pervading each scale is dynamically interconnected: while star and planet formation occurs on the smallest dimensions, this process is controlled by a cascade of matter flows that begin on galactic scales.