Glossary term: T-Tauri Star

Description: T-Tauri stars are a class of low mass young variable stars. They are named after the prototype, T-Tauri, a variable star in the Taurus star-forming region. T-Tauri variables are found in groups of young stars. Their "surface" temperatures (effective temperatures) are similar to those of F, G, K, and M spectral type main-sequence stars of the same mass, but they are significantly more luminous because their diameter is larger. These contracting young stars have not started fusing hydrogen and are powered by the release of gravitational energy during their contraction. T-Tauri stars can be identified by their irregular optical variability and spectrum. They emit intense and variable X-ray and radio waves. Brightness variability is also caused by clumps in the circumstellar disk surrounding T-Tauri stars.

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