From Cores to Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Planets
Multiple observations support the association of dense cores of molecular clouds with young stellar objects, groups and clusters. It is generally accepted that star formation takes place in these relatively high density regions (~104 cm−3) of the interstellar medium. However, in spite of the large effort devoted to explain the origin of stars, the processes that lead to star formation in the dense cores of molecular clouds are not well understood yet. A severe limitation is imposed by the scarce knowledge of the initial conditions for protostellar collapse and for the lack of information on the role of magnetic fields and supersonic turbulence in molecular clouds (Andrè et al., Tafalla et al., this volume). How the initial density perturbations are originated in any of these contexts and to what extent these phenomena determine the characteristics of a major observable as the stellar initial mass function (IMF) are fundamental questions awaiting a definitive answer.
Keywordsmolecular cores stars substellar objects
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