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Encounters between stars and dense interstellar clouds
Talbot, R. J., Jr.; Newman, M. J.
AA(Rice University, Houston, Tex.), AB(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.)
Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, vol. 34, July 1977, p. 295-308. (ApJS Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astrodynamics, Interstellar Matter, Probability Theory, Stellar Mass Accretion, Stellar Motions, Abundance, Astronomical Models, Cosmic Dust, Cosmology, Dwarf Stars, Encounters, F Stars, G Stars, Life (Durability), Solar Wind, Stellar Evolution
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The probability of stellar encounters with various types of interstellar clouds is evaluated along with the range of cloud parameters within which accretion of interstellar matter by stars can be expected. Some statistical properties of interstellar clouds are analyzed, mass accretion by stars is examined, and the amount of material accreted by a solarlike star during its lifetime is estimated. Astrophysical consequences of encounters with interstellar clouds and accretion of interstellar material are discussed for the solar system, surface abundances of stars, the problem of missing metal-poor F and G dwarfs, and other surface-abundance effects in disk and halo stars. Results are obtained which indicate that: (1) disk stars with ages that are an appreciable fraction of the Galaxy's age have encountered a significant number of interstellar clouds during their lifetimes; (2) the solar system has had about 135 encounters with clouds having a density of at least 100 per cu cm; (3) the amount of material added to the solar surface by accretion during the sun's lifetime is probably 0.0002 solar mass; and (4) the probability is about 5% that the sun has accreted 0.01 solar mass.

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