What is star formation: Definition and 32 Discussions

Star formation is the process by which dense regions within molecular clouds in interstellar space, sometimes referred to as "stellar nurseries" or "star-forming regions", collapse and form stars. As a branch of astronomy, star formation includes the study of the interstellar medium (ISM) and giant molecular clouds (GMC) as precursors to the star formation process, and the study of protostars and young stellar objects as its immediate products. It is closely related to planet formation, another branch of astronomy. Star formation theory, as well as accounting for the formation of a single star, must also account for the statistics of binary stars and the initial mass function. Most stars do not form in isolation but as part of a group of stars referred as star clusters or stellar associations.

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  1. sophiecentaur

    I Lines of stars that we see in the sky

    My question is about the patterns we see in the night sky. It's "well known" that the shapes and layouts of most of the constellations we can see would be totally different when seen from other parts of the Galaxy. That's because it's just fortuitous that we can see something in the various...
  2. F

    B Forming Stars/ Brown Dwarfs by photo-erosion

    Hello, do anybody knows something about the formation of Stars and brown Dwarfs due to photo-erosion? If prestellar cores form in a molekular cloud with some O- and B-stars, the gas or the hydrogen gets ionised and this somehow stops the protostar from akkreting more mass. Why does that stop...
  3. anorlunda

    I JWST Image Reveals Processes Ejecting Material in Star Formation

    Thanks to the JWST, we have this stunning picture. The APOD description says What are the processes that eject material at this stage?
  4. BWV

    I Help me on the timeline of star formation in the early Universe

    Referencing this posted on the Webb thread: https://www.quantamagazine.org/two-weeks-in-the-webb-space-telescope-is-reshaping-astronomy-20220725/ So will they able to do spectroscopy on GLASS-z13, the galaxy dating 300M after the big bang? Do they expect to see any heavier elements in a galaxy...
  5. HydrogenBurns

    Astrophysics Introductory books on Star Formation

    So as the title suggests, I'm looking for some introductory books on Star Formation. I have a rudementary idea of the concept from a module I took last year which I found really interesting. I'm looking to apply for a research scholarship next academic year in which I would undertake a research...
  6. D

    I Star formation and heavy elements

    Hello. First post here so hi all. My question(s) is regarding the formation of solar masses by accretion of gases and dust. From what I understand, stars are formed by large clouds of gasses and dust particles pulling together and with enough gravity, (magnetic fields), and time. A fusion...
  7. H

    Stargazing Understanding Star Formation: Triggering and Transformation Explained

    I have a question, it has to do with the formation of stars and how it is triggered. I was reading that any given stellar body with enough mass would collapse into a star, does this mean that any type of matter you put in space regardless of what it is, given the correct conditions will turn...
  8. Artlav

    I Is there a point during star formation when gas is 1 atm?

    I have been reading about and contemplating the early stages of star formation lately. An interstellar cloud collapses under it's own gravity to form a star. There is much data about what could trigger it, and what happens when the gas heats up or starts fusing. However, i couldn't find...
  9. StanEvans

    I Neutron Star Formation: Quarks, Protons, Electrons Explained

    So a programme that I watched on tv was talking about neutron stars and they said that the neutron stars neutrons were formed by protons and electrons combining to make neutrons. I was just wondering, how does this work, in the field of the quarks in the proton and how they are effected by an...
  10. Monsterboy

    Doubts about nebulae and star formation

    I read that nebulae are formed by stars exploding and they are also thought to be the birth place of stars. Stars explode when all the hydrogen atoms are fused into heavier elements and they are no longer able to fuse heavier atoms right ? If that's the case then the nebulae should contain...
  11. M

    A model of galactic star formation

    Hello, I am looking for a model of galactic star formation that I can study. Particularly, I would like one that works well for mature galaxies like the Milky Way. It also should be relatively recent as well. I am primarily interested in the yearly rate of star formation for galaxies like the...
  12. S

    Where Do Stars Form: Cool Nebulas or Hot Nebulas?

    Would you expect to find stars being made more easily in a cool, high-dense nebula or conversely a hot, high-dense nebula? Looking at for example the pillars of creation which is a stellar nursery, but what would be classified as hot and cold? relatively speaking. thoughts? thanks pf!
  13. S

    Star formation activity and SMBH activity

    Hello everybody, I'm new here and i have a question about the activity of our galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole. Did it influence the star-formation activity or was it vice versa? I would be grateful if someone could tell me anything about this or give me some information directions. Thank you.
  14. S

    Estimate Star Formation Rate: Kennicutt-Schmidt Law

    How does one analytically estimate star formation rate in a plasma cloud? Could someone lead me to original references? Kennicutt-Schmidt Law, I guess, is empirical.
  15. S

    Estimating Star Formation Rate in Plasma Clouds

    How does one analytically estimate star formation rate in a plasma cloud? Could someone lead me to original references?
  16. marcus

    Role of triatomic H ion (H3+) in early star formation

    H3+ The original mothercloud was mostly H2 and He. It didn't have molecular species containing C, N, and O that are good at radiating away heat they pick up by jostling each other when the cloud contracts. So it was hard for the early clouds to contract by their own gravity, because they...
  17. Z

    Z ~ 1.6; star formation and angular diameter distance peak coincidence?

    Is there any reason to expect both the star formation history and the angular diameter distance to peak at around the same value (redshift ~ 1.6)?
  18. D

    Gas Temperature and star formation

    If gas has to be cooled below, say, 100 K, in order for stars to form, what is the highest redshift for star formation? What would be the necessary equations to solve this problem??
  19. F

    What is the chemical makeup of stars and how does it affect their lifespan?

    Hello everyone; I am a new member and have little formal hard science ed, but have read many pop science books by Sagan, Hawking, and others. In light of this fact please try to formulate answers with this in mind... NO MATH SPAMMING ALLOWED lol My question has to do with the...
  20. A

    Basic Question about Star Formation

    I'm trying to find some information about models of star formation (just out of curiosity). I only have a basic knowledge of text-book physics and calc, so it's hard to get started. In particular, I'd like to know how the theory is tested. The only prediction of Nebula theory that I can think...
  21. I

    Why Were Early Universe Stars More Massive Than Today's Stars?

    Apparently, in the early universe, stars were massive - ranging up to about 500 solar masses. Furthermore the metallicity (elements other than H, He) in the early universe was effectively zero with only hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium. Apparently, stars could reach large masses...
  22. marcus

    Sim of first star formation (100 solar typical)

    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn14435-universes-first-stars-bulk-up-in-new-simulation.html The new computer simulation study suggests that early stars tended to be quite large, order of 100 solar masses, implying short life. The possibility is mentioned that the James Webb telescope...
  23. T

    Planet formation and star formation

    When our star the Sun finally accumulated enough matter for fusion to start what would that have done to the planets around it? Afterward what would have happened to the Earth for it to get from when the sun started fusion and blasted the Earth and now, with water and atmosphere?
  24. R

    What is the Estimated Local Star Formation Rate and How Accurate is it?

    What is the estimated value of the local star formation rate (SFR) and how accurately do we know this number?
  25. B

    !Evidence of Star Formation in Molecular Clouds

    What evidence do we have that stars are forming right now? Molecular clouds? why do we know that molecular clouds are where stars form? any other lines of evidence? i know this is a big topic so a few reasons or a good link would be a good start for me to understand this big topic thanks
  26. E

    What distinguishes Pre-main-sequence stars from main sequence stars?

    I've been reading articles on star formation and would like to know what the Pre-main-sequence actually stands for. Since more or less each stage of the formation of a star have names what type of star are inclusive in the PMS? How can you point out a PMS star from a main sequence star?
  27. wolram

    Star formation rates z=6 to z=10

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0510697 Authors: Rychard J. Bouwens (UCSC), Garth D. Illingworth (UCSC) Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures. Conference proceedings for The Fabulous Destiny of Galaxies: Bridging Past and Present, Marseille, June 2005 HST ACS and NICMOS data are now of sufficient...
  28. vincentm

    Star Formation: Density, Temperature & Fusion

    I'm reading up on star formation and from what I've understood so far, is that protogalactic clouds with density fluctuations cool and then fragment after which, they fragment again into subfragments. Now do the density in these individual subfragments increase the temperature enough to start...
  29. wolram

    How Do Masers Explain the Process of Massive Star Formation?

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0506/0506156.pdf Title: Masers and the Massive Star Formation Process: New Insights Through Infrared Observations Authors: James M. De Buizer (1), James T. Radomski (1,2), Charles M. Telesco (2), Robert K. Pina (3) ((1) Gemini Observatory, (2)...
  30. H

    Star formation and distribution in spiral galaxies

    In the nucleus of a spiral galaxy the most stars are old population II stars, and there is no star formation (which occurs in the spiral arms). Why? Thanks.
  31. wolram

    The Mystery of Star Formation: Why Do Gas Clouds Collapse?

    stars are formed from gas clouds, these gas clouds posses potential energy and kinematic energy, they may also exhibit a density contrast, theory tells us that collapse of the gas cloud starts when PE overcomes KE, but i can find no explanation for the trigger to this collapse ,put another...