Lecture 17 Star Formation Notes

Lecture 17 Star Formation Notes - Lecture 17 Star Formation...

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Lecture 17 Star Formation Notes The mass of a star determines how long it will live.  More massive stars evolve faster.  Since stars don't live forever, then they must be "born" somewhere and at some time in the past. Stars form in giant clouds of gas and dust called molecular clouds.   The term  "molecular cloud"  is used since molecules form there.  The large amount of gas and dust in the cloud shields the molecules from UV radiation  from stars in our galaxy.  The molecular cloud does not collapse into a single star.  It fragments into many clumps.  These clumps can further collapse to form stars.  10 - 1000 stars can be formed from the cloud.  When a fragment of a molecular cloud reaches a critical mass, it collapses to form a star.  o Gas and dust pulled together by gravity until a star is formed.  But reaching this critical mass is not so easy. 
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