Beads on a String: How stars form in galaxies

Synopsis: Stretched throughout our galaxy lies a web of dense gas and dust, nestled within which are clouds full of forming stars and planets. In this talk we will show how observations from cutting-edge new telescopes, and advanced super-computer models, have revolutionised our understanding of how stars like our own sun formed. We will see how different environments in our Milky Way galaxy encourage stars to form and show that stars form in cloud of gas as if they were beads on strings.

Rowan Smith holds a Earnest Rutherford Fellowship, and Lectureship at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. She uses super-computer simulations to investigate how stars form in all sorts of different environments. Her work includes studies of the first stars after the big bang, how the most massive stars in our galaxy form, to how gas and dust is assembled in the Milky Way galaxy.

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