1,000-light-year wide bubble surrounding Earth is source of all nearby, young stars — ScienceDaily

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The Earth sits in a 1,000-light-year-wide void surrounded by thousands of young stars — but how did those stars form?

In a paper appearing Wednesday in Nature, astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) reconstruct the evolutionary history of our galactic neighborhood, showing how a chain of events beginning 14 million years ago led to the creation of a vast bubble that’s responsible for the formation of all nearby, young stars.

“This is really an origin story; for the first time we can explain how all nearby star formation began,” says astronomer and data visualization expert Catherine Zucker who completed the work during a fellowship at the CfA.

The paper’s central figure, a 3D spacetime animation, reveals that all young stars and star-forming regions — within 500 light years of Earth — sit on the…

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