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The Turbulence of Making Stars

The process of star formation is one we still don't understand very well. Here is a beautiful simulation of an initially turbulent interstellar cloud of gas collapsing to form many stars. The simulation, by Matthew R. Bate, Ian A. Bonnell, and Volker Bromm lets the gas turn into stars and then follows their motions.  The stars are the little dots.

There is still considerable debate about how much a simulation like this captures reality but, in and of itself, it is a joy to watch.

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Adam Frank was a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. A professor at the University of Rochester, Frank is a theoretical/computational astrophysicist and currently heads a research group developing supercomputer code to study the formation and death of stars. Frank's research has also explored the evolution of newly born planets and the structure of clouds in the interstellar medium. Recently, he has begun work in the fields of astrobiology and network theory/data science. Frank also holds a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy fusion lab.