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A protostar is a large object that forms by contraction out of the gas of a giant molecular cloud in the interstellar medium. The protostellar phase is an early stage in the process of star formation. For a one solar-mass star it lasts about 100,000 years. It starts with a core of increased density in a molecular cloud and ends with the formation of a T Tauri star, which then develops into a main sequence star.