Astrophysics (index)

Star Formation

(theorized collapse of gas and dust into stars)

Star Formation (SF), the process by which stars are born, is thought to be understood in outline, but questions remain, perhaps more than for models of subsequent stellar evolution. Clouds sufficiently dense will gravitationally collapse, but an interesting question is when and how this density arises.

Molecular Clouds and interstellar Cosmic Dust apparently sometimes develop dense patches that collapse into stars. Areas of such activity are known as stellar nurseries or Star-Forming Regions (SFR). Triggering events include collisions of clouds, nearby supernovae (SN), or the collision of galaxies. Nearby dust may be induced to emit longer Wavelength Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) such as Radio.

The term Quenching is used to indicate the cessation of star formation, e.g., in a galaxy. For the long term, a star forming region is assumed to cease due to gas heating from hot stars and supernovae (Star Formation Feedback), followed by cooling and settling and perhaps triggers from nearby events. Thus a long-term Star Formation Rate (SFR) must be time-averaged over periods of high and low star formation.

The term Star and Planet Formation (SPF) covers Star Formation and Planet Formation as well, which is believed to happen during the first few million years of a star's life.


Referenced by:
Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN)
Balmer-Break Galaxy (BBG)
Binding Energy
Bipolar Outflow
Bok Globule
Cosmic Gamma Ray Background (CGB)
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
Cloud Fragmentation
Cold Gas
Dense Core
Drake Equation
ESO 137-001
Star Formation Feedback
FIRE Simulations
Galaxy Main Sequence
Galaxy Merger
Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)
Gas Fraction
Gas Fraction Estimation
Giant Molecular Cloud (GMC)
Habitable Zone (HZ)
Hall Effect
HII Region (HII)
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA)
Kennicutt-Schmidt Law
Lyman-Alpha Emitter (LAE)
Lynds Catalog of Dark Nebulae (LDN)
Molecular Cloud Turbulence
Molecular Cloud
Molecular Deep Field
Peak Star-Formation Epoch
Quenched Galaxy
RT Instability
Spectral Energy Distribution (SED)
Star Formation History (SFH)
Star Formation Rate (SFR)
Star-Forming Region (SFR)
Shock Wave
Submillimeter Galaxy (SMG)
Starburst Galaxy
Submillimeter Astronomy
Tomographic Ionized-Carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME)
Toomre Q Parameter (Q)