T Tauri star
Hillenbrand, Lynne Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Last reviewed:January 2021
- Young age
- Emission lines, accretion, and outflow
- Excess continuum emission and circumstellar disks
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A young low-mass star characterized by variability, the presence of hydrogen emission lines, and often other signatures of circumstellar gas and dust, including bright x-ray, ultraviolet, infrared, and radio emissions. T Tauri stars are named after a variable star in the constellation Taurus that exhibits particularly strong hydrogen lines as well as a strong “excess continuum” over a broad range of wavelengths (Fig. 1). The association of T Tauri stars with dark cloud regions in the sky is more than coincidental; they were recently born in these areas of dense interstellar gas and dust, not too far from where we see them today. T Tauri stars with very strong emission lines are designated classical T Tauri stars, while their counterparts with reduced emission are known as weak-line T Tauri stars. See also: Astronomical spectroscopy; Infrared astronomy; Interstellar matter; Nebula; Radio astronomy; Ultraviolet astronomy; X-ray astronomy
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