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Astronomers have discovered a new, cosmic phenomenon, termed "coreshine," which is revealing new information about how stars and planets come to be.
The scientists used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to measure infrared light deflecting off cores -- cold, dark cocoons where young stars and planetary systems are blossoming. This coreshine effect, which occurs when starlight from nearby stars bounces off the cores, reveals information about their age and consistency. In a new paper, to be published Friday, Sept. 24, in the journal Science, the team reports finding coreshine across dozens of dark cores.

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Giant filaments of cold dust
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Planck space observatory unveils the coldest regions of our galaxy

Giant filaments of cold dust stretching through the coldest regions of our Galaxy are revealed in new images, released today (17th March), from ESA's Planck satellite. Analysing these structures could help to determine the forces that shape our Galaxy and trigger star formation.
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Planck sees tapestry of cold dust

Giant filaments of cold dust stretching through our Galaxy are revealed in a new image from ESA's Planck satellite. Analysing these structures could help to determine the forces that shape our Galaxy and trigger star formation.
Planck is principally designed to study the biggest mysteries of cosmology. How did the Universe form? How did the galaxies form? This new image extends the range of its investigations into the cold dust structures of our own Galaxy.

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'Pillars of Creation' Formed in the Shadows
Research by astronomers at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies suggests that shadows hold the key to how giant star-forming structures like the famous "Pillars of Creation" take shape.  The pillars are dense columns within giant clouds of dust and gas where massive stars form.  Several theories have been proposed to explain why the pillars develop around the edge of ionised gas bubbles surrounding young, very hot stars. Using computer models, the Dublin group has found that partially-shadowed clumps of gas tend to creep towards darker areas, causing pile-ups behind dense knots of gas and dust that screen the intense ultraviolet light emitted by the stars.
Jonathan Mackey, who is presenting the results at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Hatfield.

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