Meet the Simulator that Shows How Stars are Born

Star gas

Have you ever wondered what stars are? Do you know what stars are made up of and how a star is formed? Stars are astronomical objects that consist of hot matter in space. This matter is held intact by the star’s gravity. Stars appear to be very small from the earth because they are very far from the earth. The sun is the closest star to the earth. 

Stars go through several processes during their formation. These processes are sophisticated and intricate which is why explaining them is not easy. Researchers have been creating many simulations to give a 3D explanation of the formation of stars by the computational framework.

However, it is difficult to cover a process such as a star formation because of all the details that are involved. It was impossible to explain the process of star formation practically until a group of researchers created a 3D simulation illustrating how a star came into being.

There have been many simulations created over the years but none of them could compare to the high-resolution simulation created by the research group in the northwestern university. They succeeded in combining the entire process of star formulation, which can take up to 10 million years to complete, in an animation.

The team called it STARFORGE which stands for Star Formation in Gaseous Environments and took two months to complete. 


STARFORGE is a computational framework that explores how a star is formed in the universe. It involves every detail involved such as stellar jets, supernova activity, and radiation. Stellar jets play a vital role in deducing the mass of stars. They consist of fountains of gas that escapes out of the star during its formation. 

Research on star formation has been going on for years. There have also been many simulations of the process but according to Claude-André, STARFORGE is more advanced than all of them. The astrophysicist regards it as a ‘quantum leap’ in technology. 

The group of researchers that produced this simulation considered many things such as gas dynamics, gravitational and magnetic fields. The entire simulation required a great deal of computation which is why the creators had to use one of the most powerful computers to run their first animation.

Also, STARFORGE allows the viewers to feel as if they are floating around a colorful cloud of gas and the birth of stars in beautiful vibrant colors around them. 

This animation has helped many researchers answer questions regarding the formation of stars which used to be impossible for them before. Claude André, an astrophysicist at the Northwestern University said that their new simulation has helped them address and answer fundamental questions about how a star comes into being.

ALSO READ: AntiMatter Lurking In Our Milky Way

They are now able to understand why stars form in clusters and why is the process so slow to take millions of years. Moreover, researchers are also predicting the time of the death of a star using STARFORGE.

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