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It might be my stupidity to think that many laymen terms that most people use to describe some physics phenomena usually have a scientifically accepted term or name? The process of star formation, does it have a specific name generally used in the scientific word? Or is Star Formation used widely by scientists and the rest of us?

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    $\begingroup$ I really think that as an unbrella term for the entire subject discipline; Star Formation is widely used and accepted as the term of choice. $\endgroup$ – Autolatry Nov 20 '14 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ Although, we don't say a cloud of gas undergoes star formation to form a star. We say it collapses to form a star $\endgroup$ – Jim Nov 20 '14 at 14:47
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An ADS search for "star formation" turns up about 142,000 articles with "star formation" in the title or abstract. The first article is a 43 page review paper of Star Formation in Galaxies in the Hubble Sequence, written by Robert Kennicutt, Jr, one of the leaders of the field. He never defines anything else to mean star formation and one of the "key words" used for tagging the article is "star formation."

I think it's safe to say, "star formation" is the technical term that everyone uses. Note, though, that as an extension to Jim's comment, star formation is generally used in the context of a region of space that is currently forming stars, not for a single star that is being formed.

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  • $\begingroup$ What would be a good term for a single star being formed then? $\endgroup$ – Hatmix5 Nov 21 '14 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Hatmix5: It is possible to use star formation to discuss a single star forming, it's just generally applied to larger regions of space forming stars. You might be interested in the term protostar, which is the name for the collapsed material before hydrogen fusion (defining characteristic of a star) begins. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Nov 21 '14 at 14:40

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