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I'm reading material that is seemingly contradictory. Some sources indicate that the evolution of a protostar to a main sequence star is characterised by a stellar wind that precludes the accretion of further in-falling material. That is, the (young) star now has a constant mass. However, other sources suggest that material may continue to accrete for a (brief) period after the protostar has become a main sequence star.

Can someone please confirm the actual process?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you provide information on what materials you are reading? It may be useful in clarifying the contradiction. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2014 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Mitch, my sources indicating the cessation of accretion once the stellar wind is formed include "Pathways to Astronomy" (Schneider & Arny), and the attached link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protostar#Classes_of_Protostars. The potential for accretion to continue for a brief period after the protostar has become a main sequence star is suggested here: www2.cose.isu.edu/~hackmart/stellarevo.pdf $\endgroup$
    – Abhi.S
    Oct 5, 2014 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ Is this the part that threw you off? "Material continues to flow onto new stars for some time after ignition.. The energy from infalling material exceeds, in some cases, the energy from nuclear fusion in young stars.." $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2014 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, that was the paragraph confusing me! However, I think Ed has clarified my confusion. $\endgroup$
    – Abhi.S
    Oct 6, 2014 at 0:55

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At the end of the protostar phase a vigorous outflow from the star develops called the T-Tauri Wind and this could cut off accretion. Eventually, it develops into a normal star and the strong wind dies down. Material that was not totally blown away could then continue to fall down and be accreted

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