What is a protostar?
Explanation: A protostar is a young, forming star that is still in the process of accreting matter from its surrounding molecular cloud. It represents an early stage in stellar evolution before the star reaches a stable phase of fusion.
What forces are involved in the collapse of a molecular cloud to form a protostar?
Explanation: The collapse of a molecular cloud to form a protostar is primarily driven by gravitational forces. However, magnetic forces and pressure forces also play a role in regulating the collapse and determining the properties of the resulting protostar.
Which of the following is a characteristic of a protostar?
Explanation: A protostar is characterized by a surrounding accretion disk of gas and dust, which is a result of the ongoing process of material accretion onto the forming star. It does not possess stable nuclear fusion, well-defined stellar structure, or high luminosity like a main-sequence star.
At what point in stellar evolution does a protostar become a main-sequence star?
Explanation: A protostar becomes a main-sequence star when it reaches a stable phase of nuclear fusion in its core. This occurs when the temperature and pressure at the core are sufficient to initiate and sustain hydrogen fusion reactions.
What is the approximate mass range of protostars?
Explanation: The approximate mass range of protostars is from 0.01 to 1 solar mass. This range includes a significant portion of the stellar population and encompasses stars of various sizes and spectral types.