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Session 68 - Invited Talks: Observing Star Formation.
Invited session, Tuesday, January 16
1st Floor, La Villita Assembly Building
Our understanding of the process by which star/disk systems form from dense condensations in molecular clouds has improved substantially over the last several years. This is due mainly to the dramatic increase in the sensitivity and resolution of millimeter and submillimeter observations and the active theoretical research which they have stimulated. Starting with a dense molecular core, this talk will outline the subsequent evolutionary sequence in the formation of a young stellar system, as suggested by observational and theoretical considerations. Emphasis will be given to new mm and submm measurements and how they have shaped the current paradigm of star formation. These observations have provided direct evidence for the gravitational collapse of cloud cores, rotation of the circumstellar material about the young stellar system, and the size of dense accretion disks. Much attention has been directed toward the spectacular jets and molecular outflows which emanate from the star/disk system and which are believed to shed angular momentum allowing accretion to continue. While the high resolution provided by the millimeter arrays have made it possible to map the young stellar systems on scales of \sim 100 AU, this size scale is still too coarse to probe the structure of the accretion disks. This situation will improve in the next few years as the arrays are upgraded and new instruments are completed.
Program listing for Tuesday