Called STARFORGE (Star Formation in Gaseous Environments), this computational framework is the first to simulate a complete gas cloud, 100 times more massive than previously possible .
According to the authors, a team that includes astrophysicists from Northwestern University, we are looking at the first HD model to simulate an entire cloud of star formation . You can see it below.
It is also the first simulation to simultaneously model the formation, evolution, and dynamics of stars while taking into account stellar feedback , including jets, radiation, wind, and nearby supernova activity.
STARFORGE has already helped the team discover a crucial new perspective on star formation . When the researchers ran the simulation without taking the jets into account, the stars ended up being too large – 10 times the mass of the sun. After adding jets to the simulation, the masses of the stars became much more realistic – less than half the mass of the sun.
As explained by Northwestern’s Michael Grudic , who co-directed the work:
People have been simulating star formation for a couple of decades, but STARFORGE is a quantum leap in technology. Other models have only been able to simulate a small part of the cloud where stars form, not the entire cloud in high resolution. Without seeing the big picture, we overlook many factors that could influence the star’s outcome.