en.ce.cn 20 Jan, 2023 04:15 am

Chinese discovery challenges classical theory of astrophysics--China Economic Net

In the vast universe, many new stars of different masses are born in batches in the same star formation region.Most structural and evolutionary properties of galaxies strongly rely on the IMF, namely the distribution of the stellar mass formed in each episode of star formation, said Li Jiadong, the first author of the paper from NAOC.The variable abundance of low-mass stars in our Milky Way establishes a powerful benchmark for models of star formation and can heavily affect results in Galactic chemical-enrichment modelling, mass estimation of galaxies and planet-formation efficiency, Liu said.This breakthrough discovery will influence many fields of astrophysical studies, such as measuring the mass of dark matter and baryonic matter in galaxies at different stages of the universe, understanding the process of star formation, detecting extrasolar planets, and even studying gravitational wave events, said scientists.

China is expected to launch the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST), which will help astronomers further verify this important discovery in the Milky Way and the neighboring galaxies, and provide richer observational data for a deeper understanding of the IMF and the physical process of star formation, said scientists.More direct and powerful observational evidence in the Milky Way is needed, said Zhang Zhiyu, a member of the research team from Nanjing University.

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