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Star Formation and the Interstellar Medium

The study of the atoms, molecules and dust between the stars in the Milky Way -- the interstellar medium (ISM) -- provides valuable information about the process of star formation and the related process of planet formation. In this regime energy input from radiation, winds, and explosions of massive stars can have great influence, heating the gas and dust, and triggering collapse of large molecular gas clouds which fragment into stars.

At Steward detailed mutiwavelength studies of nearby stellar nurseries are underway with the goal of providing a complete picture of the complex processes that dominate the massive star-forming environment.


Faculty and Research Staff with a research interest in this area include:


A discussion group that focuses on ISM science meets regularly on alternate Mondays at noon during the academic year in N 305.

(Bottom Right) The Eagle Nebula, Messier object 16, as observed with the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona. (Top Left) A magnified image of the "Pillars of Creation" lying at the center of the Eagle Nebula

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