Spiral arms incubating a baby massive star are revealed by radio telescopes
High-mass stars are eight or more times more massive than the Sun. They act like atomic factories to generate many of the necessary building blocks for life in the universe. These giant stars are thought to grow in short ‘bursts,’ separated by long periods of low activity. G358-MM1 is one of only three baby high-mass stars confirmed to have bursting behaviour. The bursts only happen once in hundreds to thousands of years, like the very slow heartbeat of the star. Theoretically, it was predicted that the burst activity should be associated with spiral arm structure, but there was no clear evidence before this work. Thanks to the international research team (M2O
) led by Ross. A. Burns, Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) observation towards G358-MM1 bursts and the new data analysis technique called “heat-wave mapping” revealed the spiral arm structures around the baby high-mass star. This is the first step to understanding the building blocks of life. The second author of the manuscript, Yuri Uno, a Ph.D. student at National Chung Hsing University, significantly contributed to the development of the heat-wave mapping technique. This discovery of spiral arms from a baby high-mass star was reported in Nature Astronomy on 27 February 2023.
"The data of observations from 25 radio telescopes from across the globe contributed to this finding, and those data were carefully correlated by teams at three data centres in three different continents. These activities alone involve the effort of some 150 or more individuals who are rarely mentioned in the publications that their diligence enables. We wish to give our sincere gratitude to these people and look forward to a continued working relationship with them going forward.
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Special thanks to Ross A. Burns (NAOJ), Tetsuya Hashimoto (NCHU), and Seong Jin Kim (NTHU) for proofreading this article. Also, special thanks to Professor Hui-Yu Chen, Simon Ho, Tzu-Yin Hsu, Leah Lin, Cossas Wu, Poya Wang, and Yu Yatang for translating the article into Chinese.