Astrophysics (Index)About


(protostellar object)
(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:

(stars,stellar evolution,star formation)
Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
accretion disk
bipolar outflow
cold mass accretion (CMA)
cooling function
debris disk
dense core
evaporating gas globule (EGG)
Hayashi limit
Herschel Orion Protostar Survey (HOPS)
Herbig-Haro object (HH)
MWC 758
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)