Stars come into being in dense molecular clouds within galaxies. These clouds of dust and gas obscure the early stages of stellar formation from optical telescopes. Luckily, recent developments in radio and infrared astronomy now permit astronomers to examine inside these clouds and acquire a better perception of the processes concerned with star birth. Computationally exhaustive computer replications also grant them to sculpt the processes and asses the results counter to observations.
Gravity is the force in authority for stellar formation and the mass of material that forms at star principally governs its life and fate.
Next is Interstellar medium. According to the lecture, this is where the atoms are widely spaced, about 1 molecule per cm3, a nearly perfect vacuum (3×1019 molecules/cm3 for air). The temperature is cold, less than 100K. As for interstellar clouds, they are primarily composed of H and He. These can be very hot and are not photogenic. Molecular clouds start off cool and are made of complex molecules. Then, the cloud collapses where parcels of gas within a molecular cloud feel the gravitational attraction of all other parts of the molecular cloud leading to a net gravitational force toward the cloud center.
Besides, I feel the lecture tutorial on “Star Formation and Lifetimes” explains this in simpler terminology. Stars begin life as a cloud of gas and dust. The birth of a star begins when a disturbance, such as the shock wave from a supernova, triggers the cloud of gas and dust to collapse inward. For instance, imagine that you are observing the region of space where a cloud of gas and dust is beginning to collapse inward to form a star, the object that initially forms in this process is called a protostar. In this case, the atoms will move closer one another. But, the physical interaction that causes the atoms to move closer is gravitational forces.
Additionally, how can we study star formation? Through Nebula or HII diagram. Nebulae are merely clouds of interstellar gas and dust which give the impression either as dark regions tarnishing out background stars – the so-called dark or absorption nebulae or as brighter clouds of gas that emanate or reflect light. They are the most perceptible mechanisms of the interstellar medium.
But, what does this all mean? What is its effect on research? In the article “New Planets May Be Forming Around Young Nearby Stars, Dusty Disks Suggest” Samantha Mathewson states, “Diverse disks of dusty material have been spotted around nearby young stars, suggesting new planets are sprouting up around the alien stars. . . specifically, the disks are seen around nearby young stars and contain gas, dust, and planetesimals which combine to form developing planets. Researchers have observed a remarkable variety of these disks, differing in size, shape and structure, according to a statement from ESO. . . Despite this proximity, it can be difficult to study the protoplanetary disks surrounding these stars because the bright light from the parent star itself often outshines the faint reflected light from the disks. However, the researchers were able to get a detailed view of the dusty disks using the SPHERE [Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research] instrument, which blocks the bright light of nearby stars to reveal the regions surrounding them.” In essence, star formation and study of stars provides astronomers avenues through which they expand their research in different fields of science.
This subject matter was rather difficult to comprehend. I assumed since it had something to do with star formation which seems to be a prime target in contemporary research, I would perceive the content better. Although, there is nothing specific that I feel iffy about, something is still unclear. I guess that testifies to the intricacies of this topic. I hope to grasp a better understanding of this as our discussion on stars continues.