Triggered Star Formation

Science Animations Video • March 8th, 2004 • ssc2004-04v2

This animation illustrates the process of triggered star formation. First, a massive star in its final death throes explodes or "goes supernova," shooting a shock wave through surrounding clouds of gas and dust. Next, the shock wave compresses the gas and dust, gravity kicks in, and finally, a new wave of stars is born. The whole progression, from the death of one star to the birth of others, takes millions of years to complete.

Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)