4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 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, ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

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?
12
votes
1answer
513 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
80 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

How are stellar and galactic ages determined?

Being a 4th year undergraduate physicist, you'd think I'd know this! But it's never really taught in any detail, just vague mentions of metallicities and, in galactic case, redshift. So how exactly ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does a star collapse under its own gravity when the gravity at its centre is zero?

The gravity at the centre of a star is zero as in the case of any uniform solid sphere with some mass. When a massive star dies, why does it give rise to a black hole at it's centre? I know how to ...
7
votes
2answers
174 views

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted?

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted? For example, the Sun is expected to increase its radius 250 times. What causes this if its temperature is expected to ...
7
votes
4answers
251 views

Can a planet form before the parent star ignites?

I'm unable to find an answer to my questions via my searches. This questions pertains to the timeline of a star system creation. My question: During the creation of a star system, can satellite ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Red Giant branch and Asymptotic Giant branch

What's the difference between the RGB and the AGB? I can't seem to find an clear distinction anywhere. Thanks.
7
votes
2answers
136 views

Speed of birth of a star

A star forms when enough material gets close enough. But how fast does the star start to shine? Is it gradually heating up (similar to an oven) slowly shining more and more? Or is it more like an ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Predicting stellar evolution and life cycle of a star

Is there a way to model/predict the evolution and life cycle of a star based on certain initial conditions? That is, whether it will become a red giant, brown dwarf, etc. I'm basically looking for ...
6
votes
2answers
233 views

How do interstellar hydrogen atoms form stars?

I would like to learn the basics about how interstellar matter contracts into stars under the influence of gravity. Some of my questions: Let's assume an ideal and infinite large cloud of equally ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Conversion of a star

I need to know what would happen to a star that has size 2 times the solar mass. I guess it would either be a neutron or red giant. Is that right?
2
votes
2answers
100 views

How accurate are our calculations about distant stars keeping in mind their enormous distances?

Since many stars are hundreds of light years away from the Earth and therefore, what we observe of them today is really their distant past, how can we say anything with certainty about their ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Earth-Moon orbiting each other after being engulfed by Red Giant

Recently some exoplanets were discovered which are thought to be the leftover cores of giant planets that had survived a star becoming a Red Giant and then shrinking back to a subdwarf. If giant ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't helium start to fuse while there is still hydrogen fuel?

In all the descriptions of the stellar life cycle it seems as though helium doesn't start being fused until all (most?) of the hydrogen is gone. Is this true? Why is this? It seems counter ...