Both a textbook and a status report for every facet of research into the formation of stars and planets, Protostars and Planets IV brings together 167 authors who report on the most significant advances in the field since the publication of the previous volume in 1993. Protostars and Planets IV reflects improvements in observational techniques and the availability of new facilities such as the Infrared Space Observatory, the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope, and the 10-m Keck telescopes. Advances in computer technology and modeling methods have benefited theoretical studies of molecular clouds, star formation, and jets and disks, while recent analyses of meteorites yield important insights into conditions and processes within our Sun's early protoplanetary disk. The 49 chapters describe context and progress for observational and theoretical studies of the structure, chemistry, and dynamics of molecular clouds; the collapse of cores and the formation of protostars; the formation and properties of young binary stars; the properties of winds, jets, and molecular outflows from young stellar objects; the evolution of circumstellar envelopes and disks; grain growth in disks and the formation of planets; and the properties of the early Solar nebula. Protostars and Planets IV is also the first book to include chapters describing the discoveries of extrasolar planets, brown dwarfs, and Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects, and the first to include high-resolution optical and near-infrared images of protoplanetary disks. Protostars and Planets IV is an unsurpassed reference not only for established researchers but also for younger scientists whose imagination and work will lead to tomorrow'sdiscoveries.
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