In the dragonfish’s mouth: The next generation of superstars to stir up our galaxy
Scientists are studying these supermassive stars and the shell surrounding them in order to learn how energy is transmitted in such extreme environments.
Three astronomers at the University of Toronto have found the most numerous batch of young, supermassive stars yet observed in our galaxy — hundreds of thousands of stars, including several hundreds of the most massive kind (blue stars dozens of times heavier than our Sun). The light these newborn stars emit is so intense it has pushed out and heated the gas that gave them birth, carving out a glowing hollow shell about 100 light-years across.
“By studying these supermassive stars and the shell surrounding them, we hope to learn more about how energy is transmitted in such extreme environments,” said Mubdi Rahman from the University of Toronto.
Such large nurseries of massive stars have been noticed in other galaxies, but they were so far away that all stars are often blurred together on images taken by telescopes. “This time, the massive stars are right here in our galaxy, and we can even count them individually,” Rahman said.