(contracted mass of gas that will become a star)
A protostar (or protostellar object)
is a type of object that develops into a star.
It is formed from a contracting molecular cloud
and eventually (on the order of 10 million years)
becomes 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.
Some related terms:
- HMPO - high-mass protostellar object.
- LMPO - low-mass protostellar object.
(stars,stellar evolution,star formation)
Referenced by pages:
cold mass accretion (CMA)
evaporating gas globule (EGG)
Herschel Orion Protostar Survey (HOPS)
Herbig-Haro object (HH)
pre-main-sequence star (PMS)
protoplanetary disk (PPD)
star-forming region (SFR)
young stellar object (YSO)