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How is a protostar different from a star?

Question:

How is a protostar different from a star?

Stellar Evolution:

Stars change throughout their lifetime, starting and ending as clouds of dust and gases. The process in which stars change is called stellar evolution.

Answer and Explanation:

Protostars form before stars. It is the first phase of stellar evolution. Protostars are big clouds of dust and gas made up of mostly hydrogen. If the cloud is big enough, it will ultimately collapse on itself, forming a star. A star is able to fuse hydrogen into helium; this is called fusion and it happens at the core of a star. A protostar is not a star because it is not hot enough for fusion to occur.


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Protostar: Definition, Formation & Facts

from Intro to Astronomy: Help and Review

Chapter 16 / Lesson 7
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