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young stellar object

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A protostar in which the dust and gas have collapsed into a sufficiently massive body for fusion to begin. The characteristic trait of young stellar objects is the presence of jet outflows-either of molecular gas or of radioactive emissions-that interact with the interstellar medium out of which the star has just been born. See more at protostar.

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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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