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The Formation of Stars: A Journey Through Cosmic Time
2018 Bolton Lecture in Astronomy at the University of Leeds
Everything you see around you contains atoms that used to be in stars. But how did these stars form? And how does star formation set the stage for the world we see around us?
The Universe seems to have one goal in mind: to turn vast, fluffy clouds of gas into stars. Along the way this process results in the huge discs in which interstellar rubble is turned into planets. Perhaps Such discs provide environments for the formation of complex life. Throughout cosmic time, however, star formation has taken quite different routes. From the strange, enigmatic ‘first stars’ that formed nearly 15 billion years ago, to their populous descendants that we see in our night sky, we will take a tour of the stellar nurseries that shaped our Universe.
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