Do we really need a ring?

Understanding the structure of our Milky Way is as difficult as trying to see the forest from the trees. Among the many uncertainties, we don’t know whether the molecular ring is really due to a ring structure or it is simply produced by the spiral arms.

Observing the inner workings of star formation

Observing the inner workings of star formation

The common picture of star formation includes the gravitational collapse of cores within molecular clouds, with mass accreting either directly or via a disk. An important aspect of the model is that some component must lower the angular momentum of the accreting material. By observing infalling envelopes, especially at different stages of star formation, the mechanism for mass accretion can be studied.