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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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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2answers
37 views

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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4answers
92 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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2answers
400 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
86 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
73 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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53 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
455 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
81 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
85 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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1answer
58 views

How do we estimate the amount of $10^{23}$ stars?

Now, I read somewhere, that there are $10^{23}$ stars in the universe. How did scientists estimate this?
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1answer
56 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
766 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
29 views

Binary Mass Function Plot

Suppose that we have a circular eclipsing binary system with orbital period of $P = 2 \text{days}$, and with one star with a radial velocity of $v_{1r} = 100 km/s$. The other star is to dim for its ...
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1answer
50 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
102 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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1answer
79 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 ...
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0answers
32 views

Do the different observed Type Ia supernovae have similar explosion energy?

I have been trying to read about the energetics of observed supernovae for some time. And while the observed core-collapse supernovae have many scientific papers about them trying to estimate the ...
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1answer
59 views

Are Stars getting 'Less Massive?

A star produces energy through Nuclear fusion with the 2H and 3H isotopes to create 4He for example. I read that there is a mass loss of 0.018884 (in atomic mass units). Of course this mass loss is ...
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1answer
123 views

Gravitational binding energy of a white dwarf at Chandrasekhar limit?

I was trying to calculate the gravitational binding energy of a white dwarf just before it went on a type Ia supernova in order to calculate the kinetic energy of the ejecta, but I wasn't able to get ...
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3answers
287 views

How would normal matter behave under conditions found in the core of the sun?

Considering how low the power density is at the sun's core, I seem not to be able to expect what would happen to matter in case it was thrown inside the sun's core. For example, let's assume an ...
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2answers
243 views

How to explain the existence of heavier elements in Population I stars and in Population II stars contain lighter one

Recently I read Astrophysics Notes where I found a statement that young stars are classified as Population I stars and relatively older one as Population II stars. Population I stars contain ...
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2answers
82 views

Why aren't all large stars black holes?

Like all stars, large ones are stable as long as there is a sufficient amount of hydrogen (or helium) to fuse. This fusion process is what prevents them from collapsing in on themselves. However, ...
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4answers
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When a star becomes a black hole, does its gravitational field strength become stronger?

I've seen in a documentary that when a star collapses and becomes a black hole, it starts to eat the planets around. But it has the same mass, so how does its gravitational field strength increase?
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8answers
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Why does the Sun's (or other stars') nuclear reaction not use up all its “fuel” immediately?

The temperature and pressure everywhere inside the Sun reach the critical point to start nuclear reactions - there is no reason for it to take such a long time to complete the reaction process. Just ...
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1answer
37 views

Multiple planets orbiting a star

One way of detecting exoplanets orbiting around a star is the Radial velocity method. Can this be used to detect multiple planets? Wouldn't the star orbit the center of mass of the whole system with ...
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1answer
78 views

About star groupings and their apparent positions in the sky

Imagine a group of 3 stars that appear to be equally luminous ,star A, B, and C in the shape of an equilateral triangle. A,B and C look like they form an equilateral triangle right now on the Earth ...
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2answers
111 views

What is the Sun's core made of?

The obvious answer is hydrogen and helium plasma but the nuclear fusion can also create heavier elements. Are these heavier elements a significant portion of the core? Do the heavier elements "sink" ...
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1answer
534 views

What is the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives in a supernova?

I have been searching for the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives as a supernova but couldn't get any result. As far as I know, a star has to be at least 8 times more ...
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1answer
68 views

What would be physics of a star totally consisting of electrons? [duplicate]

What is the minimum radius and mass (if any) for such a structure to be stable? What is the ultimate future of such structure? Will the electron repellation always be stronger than any gravitational ...
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1answer
71 views

Calculate the maximum variation in brightness of a star due to the presence of a planet in orbit

Background: As a planet orbits around a star, the star's brightness periodically dims as shown in the following picture. By measuring the variation of brightness, we are able to deduce information ...
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4answers
2k views

Can there be Electron and/or Proton Stars?

What happens to all of the electrons and protons in the material of a neutron star? Could there ever be an electron star or a proton star?
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1answer
42 views

Quick question on derivation of mass of star

How do I show that for a binary star system, if one star has mass $M_s$, speed $V_s$, period $P$, the mass of the other star is given by: $$M_P^3 \approx \frac{V_s^3}{2\pi G} PM_s^2$$ I showed it ...
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1answer
68 views

Lifetime of a horizontal branch star

I'm trying to determine what the lifetime of a star on the horizontal branch of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram would be. Some websites say $10^8$ while others said $10^7,$ so I don't know which one ...
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1answer
57 views

Quick question on parallax and parsec

I know that 1 parsec (pc) is the distance of star at which 1 AU subtends 1 arcsecond. so $1 pc = \frac{1 AU}{1"}$ Now, if two stars in a binary with a separation of 3" and have a trigonometric ...
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3answers
114 views

Is the solar energy Infinite?

Is the solar energy coming from the sun infinite and will continue to be radiated to our earth forever? (discarding any outer factors) what's the sun's fuel?
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1answer
137 views

Upper Mass Limit of Quark Stars

While there is no confirmation that quark stars exist, is there any theoretical limit analogous to (but different from) the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit for neutron stars? In other words, what is ...
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3answers
1k views

Rocky Planet in the center of System [duplicate]

We all know that mostly stars are at the center of planetary systems, but is it possible that instead of star there was a rocky planet in the center with stars (and other planets and moons) orbiting ...
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1answer
67 views

Why is a flower shaped diffraction occluder the best solution for controlling diffraction?

According to this TED talk by Jeremy Kasdin, Nasa is planning to spend $1bn on a "Starshade" project, where a giant flower shaped metal eclipser 20 meters wide is placed 50k kilometers in front of a ...
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3answers
2k views

If I were standing on the surface of the sun, how far could I see?

Assuming it would be possible to handle the intense heat... Is the surface even? If not, would average surface elevation be an appropriate definition of "surface"?Does the sun have an atmosphere that ...
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1answer
29 views

Spectroscopy and the current state of our ability to determine the composition of extra-solar planets

I was interested in learning more about the status of our scientific understanding and technological instruments regarding extra solar spectroscopy. I am motivated by this almost 3 year old ...
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4answers
991 views

How can a star emit light if it is in Plasma state?

I understand that star is in Plasma state (all nucleus and electrons are not bound to each other and moving around freely) Photon is emitted when an excited electron moves back to lower orbit. So in ...
3
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2answers
87 views

When a star turns into a red giant what stops its core contracting

I recently asked this question When do stars become red giants? and am now wondering when the star's core is contracting after it has fused $H$ to $He$ what force stops the contraction just before it ...
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3answers
1k views

Wouldn't angular momentum of a binary star system decrease?

Consider a binary star system, as these stars go around one another they would emit gravitational waves. Since, the graviton is a spin 2 particle. Wouldn't the angular momentum of the stars decrease? ...
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2answers
82 views

When do stars become red giants?

I am a bit confused when do stars become red giants? Is it just after they have finished core H burning and the core contracts creating high temperatures which result in core He burning to occur which ...
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1answer
32 views

Mass exchange between stars

I'm curious, are there specific conditions for a transfer of mass between two stars as they pass near each other? Its for my final project in computing, I'm writing a gravity simulation and thought ...
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1answer
84 views

Inward Pressure of Gravity

We are looking at White Dwarfs in Quantum and specifically how they are stabilized between gravitation pressure inwards balanced by the Fermi pressure due to electrons. To start the problem off ...
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3answers
95 views

State of the Stars

What's the state of stars? I'm not pretty sure whether the stars are stationary or rotating. For instance, if they are not rotating what makes them to be stable?