Press "Enter" to skip to content

Why does a collapsing cloud flatten as it rotates?

Why does a collapsing cloud flatten as it rotates?

FLATTENING: The solar nebula has flattened into a disk. This flattening is a natural consequence of collisions between particles in a spinning cloud. When the cloud collapses, these different clumps collide and merge, resulting in a flattened rotating disk.

What causes a nebula gas cloud to collapse?

Irregularities in the density of the gas causes a net gravitational force that pulls the gas molecules closer together. Some astronomers think that a gravitational or magnetic disturbance causes the nebula to collapse. As the gases collect, they lose potential energy, which results in an increase in temperature.

What is the initial source of energy for the collapsing star?

Initially, the gravitational energy of the collapsing star is the source of its energy. Once the star contracts enough that its central core can burn hydrogen to helium, it becomes a “main sequence” star.

What happens to the temperature and density inside a collapsing protostar?

What happens to the temperature and density inside a collapsing protostar? Temperature and density both increase. What characteristic of the collapsing cloud that forms a protostar allows it to also form a protostellar disk? Rotation.

Is galaxy or a nebula bigger?

Simply put, the main difference between galaxies and nebulae are an extreme difference in size, as well as their basic structure. A nebula is a cloud of dust and gas, usually tens to hundreds of light years across. A galaxy is much larger — usually thousands to hundreds of thousands of light years across.

What can upset the balance in a nebula?

Sometimes something happens to upset this balance. Two nebulas can crash into each other, for example, or a nearby star can explode, causing material from the star to crash into the cloud. These events compress small regions of the cloud so that gravity overcomes the pressure.

What mechanism is primarily responsible for a collapsing cloud of gas becoming a disk?

The answer is simple: thermal motion. Inside any cloud of gas, the individual atoms and molecules are zooming around, bumping into each other and flying away again. The speed of the particles depends on the temperature of the gas: higher temperatures correspond to faster particles.