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gravitational instability





A situation in which an object's self-gravity exceeds opposing forces such as internal gas pressure or material rigidity, and the object collapses. For a gas, gravitational instability sets in when the mass is greater than a certain critical value known as the Jean's mass. In the early universe, instabilities were large enough to produce galaxies and clusters of galaxies.


Related category

   • STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS
   • GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS