Many important observational clues about our understanding of how stars and planets form in the interior of molecular clouds have been amassed using recent technological developments. ESO's very large telescope promises to be a major step forward in the investigation of stellar nurseries and infant stars. This volume collects papers from the leaders in this very timely field of astrophysical research. It presents theoretical and a host of observational results and many papers show the plans for future observations.
Table of ContentsFrom the Contents: As Eyes See Young Stars Assemle: Star and Planet Formation in the VLT Era.- Mapping the Interstellar Dust with Near-Infrared Observations: An Optimized Multi-Band Technique.- Physical Properties of Prestellar Cores.- Molecular Cloud Structure: The VLT View.- The Physical Structure of a Prestellar Core in IC 5146.- From Infall to Rotation Around Young Stellar Objects.- Mass Spectra from Turbulent Fragmentation.- From Molecular Clouds to Planets: Prospects for ALMA.- Continuum Polarization as a Tool: A Perspective for VLT and ALMA.- The Mineralogy and Magnetism of Star and Planet Formation as Revealed by Mid-Infrared Spectropolarimetry.- From the Sun to Jupiter: Evolution of Low Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs down to Planetary Masses.- Core collapse and the Formation of Binaries.- The Formation and Evolution of Low-Mass Binary Systems: How Will VLT(I) Help?- The Formation of Brown Dwarfs.- etc.