Astronomers have made impressive observations at several wavelengths of the same system, dubbed the HH 24 complex. This complex contains stars in the process of being born and the consequences of their interactions with each other, including the expulsion of one of the brothers.
In total, astronomers used six telescopes to make these observations, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Array Antenna (VLA) and ALMA. By combining the power of all observed wavelengths, astronomers were able to build a comprehensive picture of the HH 24 complex.
The core of the HH 24 complex is a dense cloud of gas and dust that contains at least seven known objects. These objects are small, hot and dense, but have not yet reached the stage where they can fuse hydrogen in their cores and become true stars. However, it seems like someone is right on the edge of that limit and is about to be a star at any moment.
However, this new system of seven stars is unstable. Due to their masses and orbits, they are forced to interact rigidly with each other. And astronomers managed to capture one such ejection in action. The ejected object is an incredibly small protostar, small enough to be considered a brown dwarf. It is currently moving away from the core of the protostellar system at a speed of about 25 km/s, which means that the object left its fellows about 5800 years ago. In the next few thousand years, he will probably also be joined by some of his brothers and sisters.
Protostars of any kind are incredibly violent when they form. The movement of gas and dust can create incredibly strong electric and magnetic fields. These fields then direct some of the gas around the star, forming jets. A similar process occurs around supermassive black holes, but on a much larger scale.
In the case of the HH 24 complex, astronomers observed five thin, narrow jets emanating from the central core. These jets are wrapped in magnetic field lines that give them their shape. Together, the jets extend at least five light-years from the core.
But even in such cruel conditions, astronomers do not lose hope for the planets. Astronomers have observed small protoplanetary disks around five stars, some of them at intervals, suggesting the presence of young forming planets.
The results are published on the arXiv preprint server.
A source: Bo Reipurth et al, The HH 24 Complex: Jets, Multiple Star Formation, and Orphaned Protostars, arXiv (2023). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2301.01813