How long does it take a star to form?



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    Stars form when a gravitational force of gases contracts and collapses onto itself.  This process is very slow, by human standards.  Scientists estimate that 10 – 20 new stars form each year in the Milky Way.  There was most likely a very intense burst of activity when the Universe was young, but over time this has tapered off.  Also, when two galaxies pass by one another, there are interactions that may cause “starburst” activity, more prolific star-forming activity. 

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