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AST 2030H The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation

This course combines the ISM topics covered in the pre-1999 AST1540H Galaxies II course and star formation in both the Galaxy and external galaxies.

Course Synopsis:

I. The Interstellar Medium:

  1. Inventory of the ISM: components , locations, structures, scales.
  2. Observing the ISM: Emission and Absorption Properties.
  3. Theory of the ISM: Heating and Cooling, Subsonic and Supersonic Motions, Ionization and Excitation Balance.
  4. Details: Chemistry, Dust, Magnetic Fields, and Cosmic Rays.

II. Star Formation

  1. Properties of Star-Forming Clouds: Size, Temperature, Turbulence, Angular momentum, Magnetic Fields.
  2. Collapse: Gravitational Instability, Pressure Confinement, Magnetic Support
  3. Protostars: Mass Accretion Rates, Pre-Main Sequence Evolution, Observational Signatures.
  4. Circumstellar Disks and Outflows: Observational Signatures, Theoretical Models, Formation of Planets, Lifetimes.
  5. Star formation in external galaxies, issues in the star formation history of the universe.