New star formation is kind of important, as evolutionary theory (applied to cosmology) dictates that we should eventually be able to observe stars in all stages of formation. According to our astronomical observations, our universe contains older and younger stars, so current theory suggests that stars had to have formed at different times since the Big Bang.
Just like in biological evolution, the magical element in star formation
is extremely long time periods. Density waves shrinking dust clouds into
new stars isn't the most feasible theory, as most stars are thought to be too far from
each other to produce that effect, and since the universe continues to expand, they are growing further apart. Cloud collapse via vast gas clouds in
nebulae, a more promising theory, has not been observed to produce a new star
anywhere in the universe yet.
We have found candidate interstellar clouds that look promising, such as
the Orion Nebula, where we have observed Bok globules which
theoretically form new stars.
What's interesting to me in all this is that just like transitional
fossils in biological evolution, according to Darwin's theory, we should
see myriad transitional fossils of organisms in various stages of
metamorphosis, with partially developed appendages, etc. Instead, such
fossils are of extremely rare occurrence. So all sorts of explanations
are offered to us for why we don't find those fossils.
In the case of new star formation, there is too much dust debris and gas
in the Bok globules for us to see anything that looks like a new star
forming. What we actually observe everywhere we look in the universe is
star decay instead. We can use long microwave wavelengths to "look
through" the dust at "newborn" stars, but the fact remains that the
closest we've come to seeing a brand new star are the "final stages of
collapse, before they are reborn as full-fledged stars."
Curious indeed, how something that theoretically should be observed much
more commonly is actually a rare cosmic event. So rare, in fact, that it still has not