Stars - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Stars.
This section contains 1,093 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Stars

Stars are huge balls of very hot, mostly ionized, gas (plasma) that are held together by gravity. They form when vast agglomerations of gas and dust known as molecular clouds (typically 10 to 100 light years across) fragment into denser cores (tenths of a light-year across) that can collapse inward under their own gravity. Matter falling inward forms one or more dense, hot, central objects known as protostars. Rotation forces some of the matter to accumulate in a disk rotating around the protostar(s). As gravity pulls rotating material inward, it spins faster, akin to what happens to figure skaters when they pull their initially outstretched arms in toward their bodies.

Optical image of the Pleiades open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus. Stars are huge balls of very hot gas (plasma) that are held together by gravity. Optical image of the Pleiades open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus. Stars are huge balls of very hot gas (plasma) that are held together by gravity.

In order for material to fall onto a protostar from a...

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This section contains 1,093 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Stars Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Stars from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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