ionization front

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A boundary separating electrically neutral gas from ionized gas. There are several astronomical situations in which light or ultraviolet radiation falls on neutral gas and ionizes it. For example, when a massive young star first begins to shine it ionizes the surrounding gas, first the nearest gas and then gas progressively farther away. The ionization front is the outward-moving boundary of the ionized region.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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