Difference between Nebula and Protostar

Key Difference: Nebula is a cloud in deep space consisting of gas or dirt/dust (e.g. cloud formed after a star explodes). Before the last sequence, a star has large amount of clouds of hydrogen, helium and dust, which is known as a protostar.

Nebula is a cloud in deep space consisting of gas or dirt/dust. The word Nebula has been derived from the Latin word, meaning “cloud”. Nebula is also called as nebulae. Dust and gas clouds are called nebula. In the earlier time, galaxies were also called nebula by astronomers because of their fuzzy appearance. However, nowadays the word nebula is referred for extended objects consisting mostly of gas and dust. It comes in many shapes and sizes and forms in many different ways.

Nebula forms a protostar. Protostar is the earliest stage of a star. It is formed before the nucleosynthesis has set in motion. It takes a hundred thousand (100,000) years for nebula star to form or to reach a main sequence. Basically, before the last sequence, a star has large amount of clouds of hydrogen, helium and dust. It is the nebula star that becomes hotter and denser, which is called as a protostar. The Jean mass formula is known to show when the gravitational contraction of the protostar would begin. Protostars particularly don’t get warm and are cool as related to star temperatures.

Comparison between Nebula and Protostar:

 

Nebula

Protostar

Description

Nebula is a cloud in deep space consisting of gas or dirt/dust (e.g. cloud formed after a star explodes).

Protostar is the earliest stage of a star. It is before the nucleosynthesis has set in motion.

Observed or prepared by

Johann Baptist Cysat

Soviet-Armenian scientist, Viktor Ambartsumian

Process

May be a mechanical process

Giant molecular cloud process

Examples

  • Now researchers have caught shining suns in the act of nebula formation.
  • Is a solar nebula the reason or is gravity the reason?
  • Eventually, the core collapses into itself, creating a protostar.
  • They were ancient when the sun was still a protostar.

Image Courtesy: stella-and-quinn.blogspot.in, physics.hku.hk

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