Astrophysics (index)about


(contracted mass of gas that will become a star)

A protostar is an early stage in the development of a star, formed from a contracting molecular cloud and eventually (on the order of 10 million years) becoming a T-Tauri star or other type of pre-main-sequence star. The protostar is heated by the release of gravitational energy as the gas contracts. It later ignites fusion and, if sufficiently massive, eventually enters the main sequence.

(stars,stellar evolution,star formation)

Referenced by:
bipolar outflow
cold mass accretion (CMA)
cooling function
debris disk
dense core
Herschel Orion Protostar Survey (HOPS)
Herbig-Haro object (HH)
pre-main-sequence star (PMS)
protoplanetary disk (PPD)
star-forming region (SFR)
snow line
sound speed
stellar core
stellar evolution
transitional disk
variable star
young stellar object (YSO)