On the Road to Understanding Star Formation
The origin of stars is one of the richest and most challenging problems confronting modern astrophysics. Its understanding is of fundamental importance to astronomy, yet its serious study began less than 50 years ago. During the last 20 years unrelenting advances in the technology of observation have produced an avalanche of revealing data, unexpected discoveries, and new mysteries concerning stellar origins. This new knowledge is leading to an ever more profound understanding of the physical process of stellar birth. In this contribution I briefly outline and highlight some of the progress achieved during the last 50 years in the quest to unlock the secrets of stellar genesis.
Key wordsstar formation molecular clouds protostars bipolar outflows circumstellar disks.
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