Stars are astronomical bodies that are (usually) mainly composed of Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium. They are massive enough that their gravity compresses the matter to the point where nuclear fusion occurs, which creates a lot of heat and tends to make stars output radiation along a blackbody curve. ...

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What makes red giants big? [duplicate]

I read some about red giants and so far I understand red giants become exhausted of burning hydrogen in the core, so then start hydrogen burning at shell and may or may not be burning helium in the ...
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510 views

Are we seeing the past when we look at the stars?

Suppose a star is 100 light-years away from the Earth. Therefore, the light coming from the star (which carries its information) takes roughly 100 years to reach Earth. However, if in the meantime the ...
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62 views

Possibility of a Dark Star

I think it was a very early notion, pre-black holes, that there may exist a star that was so massive, all of its outgoing light would return to its source. Is this actually possible? Is there an ...
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55 views

Why has the amount of star formation in the Universe decreased over time?

If you like, refer to my old question from the last year, about star formation rates and their declining, answered by Rob Jeffries. I'm now examining why this process happens. It appears that in ...
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23 views

How is optical depth (opacity) related with gas pressure?

In stellar atmospheres, if we are given the gas pressure on the surface level of a star $P_{0}$ and we are expected to calculate the gas pressure on a deeper level (say 10000km) of the star, what kind ...
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65 views

Can a star with a constant density profile be possible?

The equation of states for a star is given by a polytropic equation, where density depends on the $n$th power of $\theta$. Please refer to the literature First, what is this $\theta$? It can't be a ...
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40 views

Star vibration frequency due to gravitation

I found the following problem on a Classical Mechanics MIT problem set, which is intended to be solved by dimensional analysis: Derive an expression for the vibration frequency of a star of mass M ...
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62 views

What would a very massive rocky body look like?

I have a basic understanding of how gaseous bodies behave according to their mass: "Low mass" bodies are gas giants (or brown dwarfs), Beyond a certain mass, hydrogen fusion starts, making a star, ...
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26 views

Gravitational collapse (artificial). Is it possible? [duplicate]

I am rather a beginner to this field, so please forgive me if this is a very meaningless question. If I were to somehow increase Jupiter's mass by adding more hydrogen to its atmosphere, can I ever ...
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Angular Momentum conservation in star system

This question is related to what happens to a planetary body(like earth) when the star it is orbiting collapses under its own gravity. Suppose a star is rotating about its axis with some angular ...
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274 views

What does this stellar mass distribution mean?

According to this pie above and for the "Red Dwarfs" part, which of these is correct : 1) 41% of the stellar mass of a galaxy is in stars with masses < $0.25$ $M_{\odot}$ or 2) 41% of the ...
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67 views

What does a sample of the Sun look like? Does it look like fire or gas?

Suppose that in the future a highly resistant spacecraft went to the Sun and collected three samples of the Sun: one from its surface, one from its core, and one midway. The three samples were put ...
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64 views

Temperature of the surface of the sun? [closed]

I recently had an exam question that asked for the temperature at the surface of the sun. The question is The equation I believe you have to use is The Q/t is the radiant power produced by the ...
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22 views

What is the main thermal energy source for a protostar, the contraction or the deuterium burning energy?

According to the virial theorem, when a protostar contracts, half of the gravitational potential energy is radiated and half is kept as kinetic energy of the falling material which in turn heats the ...
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130 views

How can a black hole zap a galaxy into existence?

I am referring to this picture published here. Apparently super massive black holes emit radiation and matter in astrophysical jets. And these jets can form galaxies. I have some questions: Isn't ...
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51 views

Could the estimated stellar mass for the Milky Way galaxy include brown dwarfs?

Trying to find an estimate for the stellar mass of the MW galaxy, I found this paper and the estimated stellar mass is $~6.5 \times 10^{10} M_{\odot}$. I was also trying to understand the methods used ...
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46 views

According to the initial mass function, should there be more brown dwarfs than red dwarfs?

According to the IMF and the stellar mass distribution, stars become more abundant the less massive they are. And while objects must have a mass > 0.075 solar mass to become a star, brown dwarfs with ...
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75 views

What is the distribution of Population I and II stars in the Milky Way galaxy?

I have been trying to find out the distribution of Population I and II stars in the Milky Way. The distribution I mean is the percentage of each population to the total stars in the galaxy. So in ...
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2answers
92 views

How much of a galaxy's mass is in stars?

I have been trying to find an answer for this question for a while without a success, so I guess it might not have a specific answer. But to make things easier, let's take the Milky Way galaxy as an ...
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What is the luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy?

The luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy according to this is $5\times10^{36}$ Watts, but this number suggests that there are about 10 billion stars with Solar luminosities in the Milky Way, which ...
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Why don't stars have Keplerian orbits?

In a comment to Rob Jeffries' answer to this question on spherical galaxies, Incnis Mrsi commented There should exist the entire range of orbits in a spherically symmetric system: near-circular, ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there a scientific term for star formation?

It might be my stupidity to think that many laymen terms that most people use to describe some physics phenomena usually have a scientifically accepted term or name? The process of star formation, ...
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1answer
107 views

Has the number of new stars born decreased over time?

Has the number of new stars being formed decreased at all over the age of the universe? Would this be because the average density of the universe is decreasing due to the expansion of the universe, it ...
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80 views

Collisions of celestial objects

When massive, spherical celestial objects collide, how long does it take for the objects to coalesce into a new, larger, spherical entity under the influence of gravity? Examples of the above:- ...
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64 views

How do we know if distant stars we see by their light are real objects? [closed]

Is there a way to be sure if they are not just light, but real objects?
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102 views

Why does a photon take less than a week to come out of the convection zone of the sun?

Sun consists of three parts: Radiation zone, Convection zone, Photosphere . When photon is formed at the core, it has high energy equivalent to $\gamma$ ray. When it crosses the radiation zone, it ...
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Is it possible to increase temperature of sun using radiation of sun itself?

We know that we can focus radiation of sun and can burn a paper. If we think of this thought experiment, will that happen? If someone constructs a concave mirror on the sun and concentrate radiation ...
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113 views

Is it possible for a solar system to have planets orbiting the star(s) in a spherical pattern?

By the question I mean that the planets spin in their ellipse but all ellipses describe the surface of a near-sphere shape around a star. Same question but for a solar system with 2 stars of ...
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53 views

What fraction of baryonic matter is in stars?

We know from big bang nucleosynthesis that baryonic matter accounts for about 5% of the universe's total mass-energy density. What is the current best estimate of how much of this is in the form of ...
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Why does a star's core not cool when it expands as a red giant?

When a star starts to run out of hydrogen to fuse, it begins to collapse due to gravity until the central core temperature rises to $10^8~\text{K}$ Then due the force generated by the fusion of ...
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24 views

What would happen to the Earth's atmosphere if all the solar radiation was in the extreme ultraviolet?

According to this, our Earth's atmosphere is completely opaque to radiation with wavelengths less than 100 nm as this radiation has enough energy to ionize the air. Since the surface temperature of ...
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99 views

Nuclear fusion and the Sun [closed]

I am working on a science project on the Sun. I have found that in order for nuclear fusion to work, it needs both helium 3 and 4. Why can't nuclear fusion be done with just helium 4? How can we ...
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37 views

Question on calculating the number density of free electrons in the sun's photosphere

I am writing a paper on the effect H$^-$ (a hydrogen atom with an additional electron) has on the opacity in the sun's photosphere. As such, I need to calculate its abundance. Doing so is ...
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Explanation for negative specific heat capacities in stars?

I've just found out that a negative specific heat capacity is possible. But I have been trying to find an explanation for this with no success. Negative heat capacity would mean that when a system ...
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172 views

What is the actual energy content of the Sun?

Beside the energy released by nuclear fusion in the core, the Sun is a hot plasma of hydrogen and helium ranging from thousands to million of degrees. So how does that translate into energy ? I have ...
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472 views

How do you estimate the mass of a star?

How do we estimate the mass of a single star? I guess we need the luminosity the surface temperature, radius, distance, etc. But we know nothing about the reality, because we can measure the real ...
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3answers
185 views

How does the Pauli exclusion principle create a force in degenerate matter?

My understanding is that when it comes to forming a white dwarf, it is the electron degeneracy pressure, due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, preventing collapse in of the white dwarf. If the ...
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1answer
120 views

What prevents a star from collapsing after stellar death?

When the star stops burning because heavier elements like Iron are formed in its core. Then the gas pressure stops and as you know the gas pressure helps keep a star in equilibrium because it provides ...
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If a photon goes up, does it come down?

If light can be bent by gravity, does a mass as dense as a star pull any fraction of photons back towards itself?
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57 views

Atificial Supernovae [duplicate]

I just just learned that stars have metals in their cores that could theoretically be harvested by injecting enough mass to cause a supernova. Say someone wanted to do this to our Sun. How would you ...
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2answers
1k views

Storing a Planet-sized Chunk of Metal Inside a Star

Would it be physically possible to "store" a planet-size or larger sum of metal, say gold or platinum, inside a star by letting it fall to the core? Would it be possible to detect which stars had ...
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1answer
465 views

How are we sure a star is hot the whole way through?

Just an intuitive feeling that the surface of stars is extremely hot but under the surface all types of different atmospheres could exist and so the motion of energy could move through a star like xyz ...
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2answers
87 views

If stars are ionized, where are the electrons?

As far as I know, universe is electrically neutral so, If stars are ionized, where are the electrons?
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2answers
116 views

What happens to a white dwarf star if it has mass higher than the Chandrashekhar limit? [duplicate]

What will happen if a white dwarf star has mass higher than the Chandrasekhar limit, i.e. 1.4 times the mass of the Sun?
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120 views

How do we estimate $10^{23}$ stars in the observable universe?

Now, I read somewhere, that there are $10^{23}$ stars in the observable universe. How did scientists estimate this?
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1answer
85 views

Do septuple (7), octuple (8) or nonuple (9) star system exist?

The highest I found so far is Castor, a sextuple star system. And there doesn't seem to be any other sextuple star system within at least 100 light-years...
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3answers
924 views

Why is the sky dark at night? [duplicate]

The question is the well-known Olbers' paradox: If there are so many/infinite stars, in every direction, why is it dark at night? Where goes all the light we don't see? Discussing with a friend ...
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1answer
67 views

What is relationship between Quantum tunnelling and Gravitational potential energy of stars?

Are there a direct mathematical relationship between Quantum tunnelling and Gravitational potential energy of stars? The true source of the Sun's energy was shown by Hans Bethe to be nuclear fusion ...
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1answer
104 views

Is there a way to tell what centile of the overall sample a star's mass is in?

One hears that hyper-giant stars like Eta-carinae represent the upper bound on stellar mass at about 130 solar masses. At the lower end there are red dwarfs with as little as 0.075 solar mass. You ...
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232 views

How did all of the heavy elements on earth get here?

I have often read that a first generation star went supernova and seeded our solar system. It is well known that stars that go supernova are the source of elements heavier than iron. I guess I am ...