Lecture06 - Star Formation Star formation is an on-going...

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Star Formation Star formation is an on-going process stars are forming right now in our Galaxy the Sun is only ½ to 1/3 as old as the Galaxy Copernican ideas: now is not a special time direct observations: there are stars younger than the human species Normal interstellar conditions: density ~ 1 atom / cm 3 temperature 10 – 100 K very stable
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Giant Molecular Clouds normal sites of star formation 10 4 x denser than average conditions cooler: few degrees K cool and dense enough to form molecules still marginally stable Trigger event compresses cloud supernova shock, ionization front shock, density wave, or something else (?) density exceeds critical value collapse begins
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Cloud Collapse Hydrostatic equilibrium: pressure vs gravity Ideal gas law: P V = N R T P: pressure V: volume N: number of particles T: temperature R: constant equation of state Gravity is inverse square law strength increases as size decreases Balance stable: heat of compression increases pressure enough to overcome increased gravity unstable: pressure slows but not stops collapse
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2009 for the course ASTRO 109 taught by Professor Piatek during the Spring '07 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture06 - Star Formation Star formation is an on-going...

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