Fr.: protoétoile de masse intermédiare
A protostar that evolves into an → intermediate-mass star.
Fr.: proto-étoile orpheline
A → protostellar object which has been dynamically ejected from a newborn → multiple star system, either into a tenuously bound orbit or into an escape, thus depriving it from gaining much additional mass. Recent observations have shown that → Class I protostellar sources have a population of distant companions at separations ~ 1000 to 5000 → astronomical unit (AU)s. Moreover, the companion fraction diminishes as the sources evolve. According to N-body simulations of unstable → triple systems embedded in dense cloud cores, many companions are ejected into unbound orbits and quickly escape, but others are ejected with insufficient momentum to climb out of the potential well of the cloud core and associated binary. These loosely bound companions reach distances of many thousands of AU before falling back and eventually being ejected into escapes as the cloud cores gradually disappear (B. Reipurth et al. 2010, arXiv:1010.3307).
A stage in the process of → star formation, after the → gravitational collapse of the dense → pre-stellar core and before the initiation of → nuclear fusion in the central object which will eventually become a star. Protostars are classified into four groups: → Class 0, → Class I, → Class II, and → Class III.