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1answer
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Initial velocity of particles in a 2D gravity simulation

In N-body simulations of protostellar clouds (or similar objects), each particle is has a set of characteristics: mass, size, position, velocity, and (if the object is large enough or if we want to be ...
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3answers
162 views

Why are some stars very large (i.e., $r \geq 1000 \ R_{\odot}$) but not super massive?

Background While I was in graduate school, I put together some cartoon-like comparisons of multiple stars to show the order of magnitude differences in radii. At the time, VY Canis Majoris was the ...
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2answers
221 views

Could planets survive their star becoming a black hole? [duplicate]

Would the supernova responsible for its formation destroy them. The question becomes one of how destructive the supernova event is to its own solar system - does it completely evaporate all planets up ...
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0answers
20 views

Event horizon at moments of formation of black hole [duplicate]

As I understand it, the event horizon of a black hole body, has a diameter depending on the mass. So, if an existing black hole grows through infalling matter the event horizon radius increases. I'm ...
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1answer
72 views

Will hydrogen die out? [duplicate]

Stars create heavy elements up to iron during their lifetimes, and heavier elements beyond iron during supernova events. Are there any processes which create new hydrogen? If not, will all (or most) ...
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0answers
21 views

Stellar life cycles - where did our sun's hydrogen come from

There's one aspect of stellar life cycles that I've never understood. I understand a hydrogen gas cloud coalescing due to gravity until fusion balances the gravity. The hydrogen fuses into helium ...
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2answers
105 views

How do we know what happens to stars during their life cycle?

It is common knowledge than Sun-sized stars will eventually become red giants, and later they will get gradually smaller again until they cool down into a brown dwarf, and that bigger stars can ...
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2answers
7k views

Why is the Sun almost perfectly spherical?

Relatively recent measurements indicate that the Sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured. If scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest ...
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1answer
240 views

How to calculate the radius of a main sequence star based on mass?

What would I need in addition to the mass to figure out the radius of a main sequence star?
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1answer
40 views

Origin of Stellar Nurseries

What is the mechanism thought to cause huge stellar nurseries to form e.g. eagle nebula?
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0answers
92 views

How much of this 'Slow Death of the Universe' was predicted?

In short: the energy generated in today's universe, is "about half of the produced two billion years ago" and found that "this fading occurs at all wavelengths" as yesterday news: ESO - Charting the ...
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3answers
132 views

Can there be eternal stars?

the question is quite straightforward: Can there be stars that shine forever without ever collapsing nor growing? Do we know some really, really old stars? (whatever age that might be) I hope to ...
0
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1answer
98 views

How do inert helium cores in sub giant stars create a pressure force?

I'm reading about the sub giant branch (SGB) and the evolution to the red giant branch (RGB). On the SGB stars have burned all hydrogen into helium, as a result, they have an inert helium core. The ...
2
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1answer
182 views

What is the largest possible mass for a stable planet made of iron?

Consider a large spherical planet made of pure iron. Think of something similar to Mercury or Earth without its mantle, only much bigger, though those planets have elements other than iron mixed in ...
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1answer
27 views

Do trace elements in a stellar proto-cloud affect the spectrum of the resulting star?

Two quick questions regarding the origin of our Sun: Our own Sun was probably part of a much larger gas cloud and I wonder, if two distinct stars condense from a homogenous protocloud, do very slight ...
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5answers
1k views

Did the Sun form around a solid core?

When Jupiter formed I assume like the other planets it started as tiny clumps of matter that eventually came together, became gravitationally bound and then eventually captured a lot of gas. I've also ...
2
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3answers
687 views

Pure hydrogen star

What is the smallest mass of pure hydrogen that can ignite fusion? That is can population III stars have tiny masses? How would such stars develop? How long would such a star last?
0
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1answer
66 views

Why do elements on the Binding Energy per Nuclear Molecule after Iron (most stable) even form?

So I was reading about the stability of elements based on Nuclear Binding Energy, and I saw that the 'Iron group' of elements were most tightly bound and hence most stable, and that is why the graph ...
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2answers
76 views

Why are stellar clusters useful for developing stellar evolution models?

I know that for globular clusters it is assumed that the stars developed around the same time thus their initial chemical compositions are roughly the same. My question is how does this tell us about ...
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2answers
330 views

Why are neutron stars mostly composed of neutrons?

I understand that it is due to electron capture $(p + e \rightarrow n + v_e)$. My precise question is: What are the conditions needed for a star core to start undergoing this process at a large scale?...
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3answers
137 views

Why is the release of energy during the He-flash in stars almost explosive?

Can't really put 2-2 and together as to how having an inert degenerate He core translates to a He-flash. Also, at which points exactly do degeneracy and the He-flash start occurring?
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1answer
265 views

How much mass is typically ejected from a supernova?

How much mass is released from a supernova of a 15 solar-mass star? 20? 25? What is the relation between star mass and mass ejected?
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0answers
65 views

The standard textbook on supernovae?

This is a straightforward question: What is considered to be the standard treatment of supernovae? Could be a textbook, lecture notes, review article, etc.
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3answers
1k views

Why does fusion stop at iron when nickel is most tightly bound?

My understanding is that stellar fusion naturally stops at iron because it is energetically unfavourable to grow the nucleus further. But iron is only the third most tightly-bound nucleus, nickel is ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
138 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
124 views

Electron degeneracy and helium flashes in stars

I have a question regarding the above mentioned. When a star have a mass of about 3-8 it does not go through the so-called helium flash phase, but instead just run along as nothing had happened, turn ...
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1answer
71 views

Planetary nebulae, thermal pulses and mass loss

I'm reading about planetary nebulae and how they are formed, but as is sometimes the case, I've gotten a little confused. So, I have a star, let's say 5 times the mass of the sun. At some point, when ...
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1answer
224 views

Chemical and stellar evolution in stars

I'm having an exam soon where I have to discuss/describe the follow figure: It's the first figure I have to explain, and it was on the same slide as the one below, so I'm thinking they are somewhat ...
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3answers
80 views

Photon walk in stars with convection

I'm having trouble figuring this out. I've read, that when photons are created via nuclear processes inside a star, it can take about 1 million years for photons to actually reach the surface of a ...
3
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1answer
264 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
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1answer
181 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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3answers
697 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the theoretical lower mass limit for a gravitationally stable neutron star?

I ask here intentionally not for the size of the smallest possible observed size of neutron stars, which corresponds approximately to the well-known Chandrasekhar-limit for the upper limit of the ...
2
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1answer
441 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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3answers
631 views

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

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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3answers
293 views

Are stars getting more metal-rich, less massive and shorter-lived with cosmic time?

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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2answers
298 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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5answers
7k 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?
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1answer
1k 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
235 views

Will a black hole eventually turn into a neutron star?

As far as i understand, black holes radiate away energy in form of Hawking Radiation. Thus, they lose mass, i suppose. Is there a point where the mass becomes too small for the object to still be a ...
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4answers
652 views

How does the formation of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
6
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1answer
349 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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3answers
530 views

Neutron stars and black holes

The official limits for a neutron star is $1.4 - 3.2\;M_\odot$. But I read that the limit depends on the particular structure of a star to estimate which mass it must have. I also read that neutron ...
9
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3answers
684 views

Why does gravitational collapse occur suddenly in a supernova progenitor?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Supernovae, and it says that one of the reasons why a supernova occurs is due to sudden gravitational collapse when the core of the star has little fusable ...
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3answers
285 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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2answers
127 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 ...
7
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2answers
113 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 ...
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5answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
304 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 ...