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How does star-making start? For first time, scientists might get a glimpse.

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These processes make it difficult to answer the question: What processes influence the first stars to form in a cloud? The segment of the Perseus molecular cloud the team studied hosts no other stars, providing a pristine stellar nursery for testing hypotheses about these initial influences. 'Some stars have to form first for those later triggers to develop,' says James Di Francesco, an astronomer at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and a member of the team reporting the results in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. 'What's exciting about this discovery is that we see what we think is a clump of gas that's formed within a molecular cloud that is further fragmenting into individual pieces -- forming a first generation of cores' available to become stars, he says.

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