Sibling Rivalry in the Womb of the Stars: Play the Game Today!

By Adam Frank | March 27, 2008 11:11 am

Adam FrankAnd now for something completely different…

In my day job, I spend a lot of time thinking about how stars form. The assembly of stars (and planets) constitutes one of the great frontiers of modern astronomy. With the discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars, the co-joined questions of how solar systems form and evolve has taken on a new urgency. Life will form on planets and planets will form around stars. But where, and how, do stars form? That is a question you can now explore directly in the finest and oldest tradition in science—by playing around.

From a very unusual collaboration between DISCOVER, the University of Rochester, the National Science Foundation, and my good friends at Second Avenue Software, we are happy to bring you “Star Formation: The Game.”

Over the last three decades, astronomers have worked hard to develop an accurate picture of single star formation as the gravitational collapse of large interstellar clouds. This was a huge achievement, but it was only the first step. With better telescopes operating at longer cloud-penetrating wavelengths, it became clear that star formation was a family affair. Worse still, the families can be pretty dysfunctional. That is what “Star Formation: The Game” is all about.

In many star-forming wombs, the collapsing cloud will produce thousands of stars. A few of these will be massive giants that are 10 times heavier than the sun. These high-mass stars live fast and die hard, producing torrents of UV radiation, powerful stellar winds and, finally, apocalyptic self immolation in the form of a supernova. All this energy is dumped back into the same cloud from which the massive star formed—a process called “feedback.”

Feedback can be good news or bad news for sibling stars. It can tear the cloud apart, short-circuiting any new star formation, or it can sweep cloud gas together to form new stars. No one is sure yet which process is more important. It’s all about a competition between cloud destruction and new star formation. What better place to build a competitive science based-video game?

The point of “Star Formation: The Game” is to let people learn about a specific astronomical process in a very different, very non-traditional way. The game lets you drop new stars into a cloud that then goes supernova. Your job is to try and corral the cloud gas with these blast waves, sweeping gas together so that it becomes dense enough to form new stars before the whole cloud is blown away. Of course, if you want your science served in a more traditional manner, you can shoot over to a story I wrote about star formation and feedback in DISCOVER’s February issue that accompanies the game.

We very much hope you enjoy it. Tell your friends (including your video game playing kids), and we would love to hear your feedback.

Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester who studies star formation and stellar death using supercomputers. His new book, “The Constant Fire, Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate,” has just been published. He will be joining Reality Base to post an ongoing discussion of science and religion—you can read his previous posts here, and find more of his thoughts on science and the human prospect at the Constant Fire blog.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Science & Religion
MORE ABOUT: Adam frank, creationism

Comments (55)

  1. twilightened

    The best way to learn something, i think, is to turn it into a game and play it. So that is great.

  2. liberation is the name of the song
    i believe its by buda bar

  3. Everything will be all right,I am behind you.
    iphone revolution

  4. Highest quality replica rolex will to meet your expectation.replica rolex watches are made from the highest quality parts and crafted with such attention to detail.We offer discount price for you. When you order replica rolex watche at our site.

  5. Looks like I’m going to need to read up some more, but this was a really good spring board.

  6. fantastic article :) looking forward to seeing more!

  7. gragg advertising made the top tweets site 100tweets of whatever its called. gragg is working towards trying to break the barrier on becoming the kansas cities top twitter profile that has the most followers. I am pretty excited about this endeavor. gragg advertising

  8. Grey Ugg Cardy Boots On Sale! We are professional supply Ugg Classic Short Boots , UGG Sundance II on Softugg.Inc,is your best choice,Enjoying shopping now!
    Nike Shoes

    Ugg pink tall Sale Now!Buy 2009 new Ugg Ultra Short Boots ,Cheap Ugg Nightfall Boots On Selluggsboots.com!100% authentic,free shipping and notnax,save you 50% Off!!!
    cheap timberland boots

  9. ugg boots sale-Warm ugg boots for all the family remain at the heart of our collection,find your favorite UGGs from stunning designs-ugg boots uk.
    ugg bailey button ugg bailey button
    UGG Nightfall Boots sale UGG Nightfall Boots sale
    classic tall ugg boots classic tall ugg boots

    nike

  10. I agree with you, I think it’s a good topic. So would you like the info about the
    cheap ugg boots
    ugg boots sale
    ugg boots
    air jordan shoes
    air jordans
    jordan shoes
    ugg boots uk

  11. Levis

    PS3 supports Blu-ray DVD and has powerful game functions

    Blu ray Ripper for Mac is the latest software that allows Mac users to rip Blu ray DVD on Mac OS X.

    Blu-ray ripper enables you directly rip and convert your Blu-ray movies and general DVDs, even the protected DVDs and Blu-ray DVDs into other popular audio and video formats.

    How to rip Blu ray

    Ultimate Blu-ray video converter is actually an 8-in-one software including Blu-ray Ripper, DVD Ripper, Blu-ray Backup, blu ray converterDVD Backup, Blu-ray Editor, DVD Editor, Video Converter and Video Editor.

  12. hanyu

    Support of the Lou Zhu, Lou Zhu worked hard
    Signature——————————————————————————————————————–
    Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
    ugg bailey button
    ugg classic cardy

  13. This winter is fairly warm. Maybe we can get started with the barbecuing season ahead of time this year, I am anxious to get started.

  14. ugg boots london|ugg london
    We are the best online dealer,about all kinds of new ugg boots.Run retailing and wholesale trade wordwidely for years. Free Shipping And Customs,Super Sale Off Retailing,With 1Week Delivery to your door.

    ugg bailey button boots ugg bailey button boots
    UGG Nightfall Boots sale UGG Nightfall Boots sale
    classic tall ugg boots classic tall ugg boots
    bailey button ugg bailey button ugg
    button ugg boots button ugg boots
    ugg button boots ugg button boots

  15. Hey. I don’t follow many blogs, but yours is of thelittle I read.Have a nice day!

  16. Fine blog. I got a lot of effective data. I’ve been following this technology for awhile. It’s interesting how it keeps changing, yet some of the core factors remain the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their latest acquisition in the arena?

  17. Hey I just wanted to let you know, I really like the writing on your website. But I am employing Chromium on a machine running version 9.04 of Xubuntu and the UI aren’t quite correct. Not a big deal, I can still fundamentally read the articles and research for information, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of challenging to use with the config I’m running. Keep up the great work!

  18. Hi – really great site you have made. I enjoyed reading this posting. I did want to issue a remark to tell you that the design of this site is very aesthetically pleasing. I used to be a graphic designer, now I am a copy editor for a merchandising firm. I have always enjoyed working with computing machines and am trying to learn computer code in my free time (which there is never enough of lol).

  19. we China Wholesale Wholesale NHL Jerseys China cheap from china,Wholesale NHL Jerseys ChinaWholesale NHL Jerseys China,NHL Jerseys China,Cheap NHL Jerseys from china, Wholesale Security Camera,Wholesale NBA Jerseys,canadiens jersey,nhl apparel,buy nhl jerseys online;jerseys for sale.buy nhl jerseys online discount ,cheap nfl jerseys,nfl Cheap Football Jerseys ,nfl jerseys shop,discount nfl jerseys,nfl jerseys from china,nfl jerseys for sale,china nfl jerseys,nfl jerseys for kids,replica nfl jerseys,authentic Wholesale ,nfl jerseys for cheap; from china. more large order nhl jerseys for cheap. replica nhl jerseys for sale. authentic nfl China Wholesalers Wholesale Baby MonitorsWholesale Spy Cameras Wholesale Spy Camera.

  20. ie: Have I missed any?

  21. Great article. There’s a lot of good data here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Mac OS X with the up-to-date beta of Firefox, and the look and feel of your blog is kind of quirky for me. I can understand the articles, but the navigation doesn’t work so great.

  22. Hiya , when visiting at your website i see some form of unusual codes all through the web page, in case it

  23. Hiya , when visiting at your site i notice some type of strange codes all above the article, in case it

  24. Howdy, simply considered i would reveal to you something.. This is 2 times these days i

  25. ncluding specific questions in posts definitely helps get higher numbers of comments. I find that when I include questions in my headings that it is a particularly effective way of getting a response from readers as you set a question in their mind from the first moments of blog

  26. D9Qiqu obirfqbsbgud, [url=http://dmrcurtymugr.com/]dmrcurtymugr[/url], [link=http://rgymxxpwamcm.com/]rgymxxpwamcm[/link], http://deybdicgmesy.com/

  27. Medp50 zgpoockdlrqq, [url=http://dclorfdmjhgu.com/]dclorfdmjhgu[/url], [link=http://djnuwveatcjj.com/]djnuwveatcjj[/link], http://pvekgyosovlg.com/

  28. yFv2B6 cuqzmlmuqrwv, [url=http://zyxlqqjkiboo.com/]zyxlqqjkiboo[/url], [link=http://yadhzhurkgsb.com/]yadhzhurkgsb[/link], http://nbjflwxhvhll.com/

  29. Good post and a wonderful read. You have raised some valid points. Great work, keep it up.

  30. [url=http://secretline.biz/vpn-software.html]VPN. Anonymous proxy. Hide ip service. OpenVPN / DoubleVPN / PPtP service.[/url]
    If you need fast, reliable and safe [b]VPN-service[/b], you’re on the right way.
    Secretline.biz provides access with [b]PPtP[/b](Microsoft VPN) and [b]OpenVPN[/b] (free realization of the VPN-technology using SSL/TLS).
    You can find all information you need on this site. If you’re interested in some other aspects of our service, you can contact our technical support.

    [b]Full access to network.[/b] You can use any services, access any sites and use any software with us. BitTorrent, Skype, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Pocker .. we have no restrictions.

    [b]Flexible discount system.[/b] Regular customers can expect our loyalty. Flexible discount system will help you to save up to 30% of your moneys.

    [url=http://secretline.biz/register.php]Register[/url]

  31. ewet

    Thank you good post very good ….I like This site!
    Film seyret Bedava Film izle
    filmizle Bedava, indirmeden Film izle
    Dizi izle Bedava, online indirmeden dizi izle –
    bedava-filmizle Bedava-filmizle
    porno indirmeden porno izle
    tiklaizle tiklaizle
    Teyzem Teyzem.Tk
    Sex Sex
    seks seks
    erotik film erotik film

  32. Great information! {Thanks!|Many Thanks|Please keep it up|I will be back for more very soon}

  33. just some random thoughts

  34. xcvzxcv

    in 2010 soon arrives, the capable black coat of paint designer handbags, the graceful metal chain water chestnut standardreplica handbags, the pretty miniature slanting replica watches, the virtuous young woman miniature suitcase, the fashion big Replica hermes handbags, and so on these attractive Versace Replica handbags, will accompany you to cross the Louis Vuitton handbags new year time. entered the winter, the weather has not calculated very coldly, in the changeable season, chose several model of most pleasing Replica chanel handbags, no matter were likes shouldering the law only, the replica omega watches back law, changed in the winter the melancholy moodSwiss replica watches !
    designer pursehandbagsDiscount handbagsCheap handbagsMarni handbagsVersace handbagsThomaswylde handbagsJuicy Couture handbagsLoewe handbagsValentino handbagsAlexander Wang handbagsBottega Veneta handbagsKooba handbagsinsulated glassmarble composite slab|Marc Jacobs replica handbags|Bottega Veneta replica handbags|Burberry replica handbags|Cartier replica handbags|Celine replica handbags|Christian Dior replica handbags|Christian Dior bag|Coach replica handbags|Coach bagsreplica BreitlingReplica Breitling watchesladies breitling watchesbreitling seawolfbreitling BlackBirdbreitling Superoceanbreitling bentley watchbreitling bentley GTbreitling Montbrillantbreitling NavitimerIWC watcheReplica IWC watchesIWC PilotIWC InGenieurreplica iwc portugueseroyal oak watchesAudemars Piguet watchesAudemars Piguet Replica WatchBaume Mercier WatchesBell ross watchesBvlgari watchesBvlgari watches replicareplica jaeger le coultre watchesjaeger le coultre watchesReplica Cartier watchesCartier watchcartier tank francaise watchcartier tank watchchanel J12 watch

  35. In fact, some people kill for a the designers or those who already the rounds of thrift shops. Undoubtedly much value is in an authentic Gucci Bags, or 15 years or 15 minutes old.Gucci Louis VuittonGucci Shoes and Louis Vuitton Shoes started with a small luggage and saddlery company in Florence, where they sell leather that are produced exclusively by artisans of Florence. The entitlement to seek international supportCustomer opens Discount Gucci Handbags Louis Vuitton Handbags i another company, this time in Via Condotti in Rome. Although very popular with Consumers, it was not until 1947 that the first Gucci UK and Louis Vuitton UK reached icon the state with the bag until you have a bamboo handle. The bag was introduced by Gucci Bags Discount, was a great success with the icon of the Gucci Shoulder Bag and Louis Vuitton BagBelt lines deriv>ed from the circle. The symbol LV of the tape strips is so special Louis Vuitton Outlet and so identified with Gucci products, whetherBags or clothing that has been done in a Brand .Another symbol of Gucci Purses and Louis Wallet was introduced some years after LV UK Moccasin handbag with metal spikes.Gucci Handbags Sale.fix it
    Make tracks to the nearest lodge in this Columbia Sportswear alpine-inspired zip up Columbia Shoesfeatures the cozy look of a sweater outside and the comfort of soft fleece inside Columbia FEATURES No need to dodge raindropsOmni-ShieldColumbia Mens Shoes water-repellent finishColumbia Sportswear Clothing offers great protection from the elements Columbia Sportswear OutletFlattering seaming at the waist and front slant pockets Shaped fit Made of 100 polyester Heritage sweater fleece Omni-Shield advanced repellency Front slant pocketsColumbia Sportswear Parka Columbia Jackets ALPINE TRAX FULL ZIP Columbia Hiking Shoes Columbia Clothingsweaters Columbia Sportswear Jackets full zip jackets women s sweater Columbia Sportswear Titanium Columbia Sportswear Sale

    ed hardy

    Wedding Dresses

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »