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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How is a blackbody spectrum formed in the Sun?

Sunlight can be treated as BB radiation. Why is it a continuous spectrum while the sun contains only a few elements and the radiation from the jumps between atomic levels are discrete? How does the ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

What types of fusion reactions happened in population III stars?

I have read that, in smaller stars, such as our Sun, the fusion reaction that takes place is a proton-proton chain, or PP chain for short. From what I have learned, in larger stars, a different ...
3
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1answer
39 views

What was the significance of the ionization caused by the Population III stars?

I am reading that the ultraviolet light that radiated from the first stars would ionize the surrounding gas and apparently, all of the matter in the universe would eventually become ionized. So, ...
2
votes
4answers
227 views

What happens during gravitational collapse to cause the formation of a star?

I know that stars are formed from dense regions in large gas clouds. I know that when gravity causes the mass of the clump to get so big that its internal pressure can't sustain it, it collapses and ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

What is the process by which the density fluctuations that were detected in the CMB evolved into the first stars?

We can detect very slight fluctuations in the temperature (mass distribution) when the CMB was released (decoupling). It is believed that these fluctuations led to the first stars. However, these ...
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1answer
38 views

What made up the cosmic microwave background and the first stars?

I am trying to figure out how the first stars formed and I'm looking for information on what made up the gas/radiation that they formed from. Most of our evidence for the make up of these formations ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Difference between Gunn Peterson trough and the Lyman Alpha Forest? Cosmological implications?

I'm having difficulty understanding the full implications of the Lyman alpha forest and its use in cosmology. My understanding is this: we detect features in the Intergalactic Medium (IGM) by very ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Of the 9096 visible stars — 90% are how close?

I was on a beach on a tropical island one night and, of course, the night sky was magnificent. It got me thinking: I want to point to a star and say with $90$% certainty that it is probably $x$ ...
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0answers
27 views

The path that light travels [duplicate]

This is a question that has puzzled me for some time. As a star emits light, the light travels away from the star. If you were to pick any spot on the star and draw a line extending outwards and then ...
0
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1answer
36 views

What does multi-periodicity mean in stellar pulsations?

How can there exist multi-periodicity in stellar pulsations? http://www.kitp.ucsb.edu/sites/default/files/kitp/preprints/moskalik2.pdf How can one visualize a multi-periodic pulsation or oscillation?
1
vote
1answer
37 views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
598 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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1answer
69 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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vote
2answers
76 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
31 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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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1answer
56 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 ...
2
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1answer
68 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
31 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 ...
0
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2answers
33 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
281 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
28 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
600 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
63 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 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:- ...
3
votes
2answers
65 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?
0
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2answers
110 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
134 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
434 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
27 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
142 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
181 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
491 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
219 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
22
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1answer
2k views

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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0answers
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 ...