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The night sky unimaginably deep is a breathtaking sight Some three thousand stars can be seen with the naked eye twinkling points of light that have inspired the human spirit since the dawn of time Study of the stars based on data collected from visible-light telescopes radio telescopes and detectors wavelengths can now reveal extraordinary amounts of information size temperature chemical composition internal structure distance and rotation rate among other factors One of the most important discoveries that scientists and astronomers have made is mapping out the life cycle of a star Little by little they have discovered all the different stages of a star from its birth to its eventual death As giant molecular clouds orbit the center of a galaxy they are tugged by gravitational and magnetic fields How fast their constituent particles move depends on their temperatures the colder the cloud the slower the particles Fast moving particles resist collapsing together and so stars can form only in the dense cores of cold clouds Typically these clouds are only about 15 degrees above absolute zero Periodically the clouds begin to collapse The trigger mechanisms for such collapses are thought to be collision between giant molecular clouds or entry onto galactic spiral arms Both of these occurrences set up compression waves within the cloud which cause isolated regions to become so dense that gravity overwhelms all other processes and the could collapses These isolated regions can often contain enough mass to create several hundred stars of similar mass to the sun They are known as Barnard objects and often appear as black regions in front of stars Sometimes regions with emission nebulas reach the appropriate density and collapse These appear as round black bubble within the glowing gas They are referred to as Bok globules As Barnard objects and Bok globules collapse isolated regions within them collapse as well In this way the cloud fragments on many different scales It is the smaller-scale
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