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Questions tagged [stars]

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. Typically the radiative output is significant in the visible spectrum making stars very bright objects.

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In what planetary system can we have arbitrarily long winters?

Unlike on Earth where the length of seasons are almost of the same duration each time, the hypothetical planet on which Game of Thrones took place has seasons of arbitrary length i.e. some winters ...
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Can a gas cloud of pure helium collapse and ignite into a star?

Assuming there could be a giant gas cloud with negligible amount of hydrogen and metal (elements with atomic number $Z\geq3$), could it collapse gravitationally and form a pure helium star that would ...
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Why hydrogen lines are less visible in the Sun spectrum than in supernovae clouds?

Supernovae clouds are very colorful, and if I trust documentaries I watched, the colors are due to excitation of elements, as in fireworks. Since the Sun is mostly made of hydrogen, I suppose those ...
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Why is the Sun made of light elements only?

Since the entire solar system inherits its heavy elements from supernovae unrelated to our star, I fail to understand why, while capturing most of said system's matter, the sun only contain light ...
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Star formation after big bang doesn't violate entropy? [duplicate]

Ok I know this has been asked a lot but I'm still a bit confused. After big bang, there are a lot of equally distributed elementary particles around with evenly distributed heat(or photons). So why ...
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CNO-cycle in Population III stars [duplicate]

It has been stated several times here and probably elsewhere that the first population III stars were unable to undergo H-to-He fusion via the CNO cycle as there was virtually no carbon-12 at the ...
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Why does a drop in gravitational energy result in star contraction

Consider a gas cloud that is radiating away heat. From virial theorem we see that if the cloud radiates away heat and loses energy this will cause its gravitational energy to drop. Why does this mean ...
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What is the relationship between the absolute magnitude and power output of a star?

I can't seem to find a straight answer online. Is the absolute magnitude of a star equal to / linearly proportional to / or unrelated to the power output of the star. When I say absolute magnitude I ...
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Why light coming from distant stars is not discrete? [duplicate]

Imaging the light racing out from distant sun, as beam of light shoots aways is a circular pattern (spherical actually), remembering that, light comes in photons or packets of energy. so how come is ...
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Dimensional grid of spatial coherence on earth of Pole Star radiation

One spot on earth receives a constant stream of stellar radiation: this is the North Pole where the Pole star radiation flows constantly. Given that a point source of light is considered to emit a ...
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Is there a relatively painless way to calculate the radius of a neutron star, given its mass?

I know there are different models based on, as I understand it, different equations of state describing the neutron star mass-raduis relation. I'm not sure what to do with that, though. My math isn't ...
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Is it possible to form a toroidal star?

Perhaps a fast spinning star (not spherical) where a black hole forms in the center, but the event horizon is smaller than the equatorial radius but larger than the polar radius?
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black dwarf stars and dark matter

Today we understand that a black dwarf star represents a hypothetical star that is the result of the complete consumption of the energy of a white dwarf which is the remnant of a star of little or ...
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Behaviour of a star as it approaches Ultrarelativistc limit

By considering the potential energy of a degenerate star of mass $M$ and radius $R$, I can use dimensional arguments to show that the radius of the star depends on its mass as: $$ R ∝ M^\frac{2-n}{...
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Can a star visually look like a black hole? [duplicate]

Amateur question incoming so please bear with me. Assumptions If a black hole is born from a star going supernova, intuitively it should have the same or less mass compared to the star. Black holes ...
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What percentage of stars are giants/subgiants/main sequence etc

I am trying to find the percentage of main-sequence stars along with red-dwarf percentage for my research paper. I did find one article regarding, however it is very old and i require recent data ...
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Is the Universe an isolated system? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist but this question has bugged me for a while now. The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time. However, if the ...
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How is it possible to see stars-light, from stars millions of light years apart with the naked eye? [closed]

How is it possible for us to see stars that are millions of light years 'APART' from one another with the naked eye when we look at in the night sky from horizon to horizon? (i.e., pick any stars ...
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Energy budget of of proton-proton fusion (p-p chain)

How much energy is released in the first nuclear reaction of the p-p chain which produces energy in lower-mass stars like the Sun? The value of 1.44 MeV is given in many sources, but I don't ...
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Does a star need to be inside a galaxy?

Must a star belong to a galaxy, or could it be completely isolated? In case it can be isolated (not belong to a galaxy), could it have a planet orbiting around it?
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Event horizon and the existence of point particles

In this paper by David Kuap that first introduced the concept of Boson stars, he states that when the Einstein-Klein-Gordon system of equations is solved, the solutions obtained do not account for an ...
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How did Edwin Hubble estimate the velocity of distant stars?

I didn't know how to be succinct with my actual question in the title. My question is, how did he separate the components of the actual velocity of stars from that of the velocity due to recession (...
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Treating stars and planets as a blackbody determine the temperature of a planet that has EM radiation incident upon it from a star

Consider the following question: Power emitted by the star via the Stefan Boltzmann law is as follows: $$4\pi\sigma T_s^4 r_s^2 $$ However the power will drop over distance and so we can say that ...
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Do only 'giant stars' fuse large amounts of elements other than hydrogen and helium?

Do only giant stars initiate 'full-on' carbon (and higher element) fusion, even though red giants on the larger end of the spectrum create carbon and oxygen via producing helium per the CNO cycle?
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Why does a star die once it has iron?

I found out that iron is the death element for stars, but I couldn't find why can anyone knowledgeable on stars explain why iron causes the star to die?
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Do supernovae push neighboring stars outward?

I know that a supernova can mess up the heliosphere of nearby stars, but I'm wondering if it could physically push neighboring stars off their trajectories. It's fun to imagine all the stars ...
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Doubts about the formation of the bullet cluster

The bullet cluster is formed by the collision of two clusters of galaxies. After the collision, the stars and galaxies in those two clusters passed through each other. But the intergalactic gas clouds ...
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Forming a Neutron Star: inverse $\beta^-$ decay or electron capture?

There are three different kinds of beta decays: $\beta^-$: n $\rightarrow$ p + e$^-$ + $\overline{\nu}_{e^-}$ $\beta^+$: p $\rightarrow$ n + e$^+$ + $\nu_{e}$ electron capture: p + e$^-$ $\rightarrow$...
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Naive question about Gravitational collapse

Suppose that you have a probe orbting a $10M_{\odot}$ star in the final moments before gravitational collapse. In a time $t$ the collapse event occurs. So do you really would see all the matter "...
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Would a Dyson sphere face physical limits faced by white dwarves?

During a recent online discussion, one of the participants made the claim that a Dyson sphere would be limited in mass by the Chandrasekhar limit. Attempts to solicit evidence for this claim were ...
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Wildly Inconsistent Answers Re: A Teaspoon of Neutron Star versus the Giza Pyramid

I'm experiencing a mild fit of nerd-rage here and I'm hoping someone can help. I was watching a documentary and it made a claim I've heard a few times before: that a teaspoon of material from a ...
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Was a black hole formed by only one star or many stars? And can a black hole be formed by other materials (non-stars).

Although I know that a black hole can be formed by gravitational collapse of a massive dead star, I'm not sure whether a black hole can be formed by collapse of many stars.
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Rayleigh Scattering and Red Giants

Rayleigh scattering is responsible for the color of the sky. Consider a planet with an atmospheric composition similar to Earth's but orbiting a red giant. Suppose further that the planet is in the ...
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Nuclear Fusion Proton-Proton Chain

When hydrogen nuclei are able to overcome the coulomb forces, two protons collide. As a result, one of them decays into a neutron and a positron and electron neutrino are emitted. However, isn't mass ...
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Inferring Properties of Stars from Masses and Radii

I have two questions related to inferring properties of stars from their masses and radii. What properties of a star's spectrum could we deduce? In particular, do all stars emit like black bodies? ...
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Are all binary stars also variable stars?

Since variable stars are the once whose luminosity change according to our perception and all binary stars must go through eclipsing, Can we say that all binary stars are also variable stars?
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Derivation of pressure gradient stellar equation [duplicate]

I am trying to understand how to derive the following formula: $\frac{dP(r)}{dr}=-\frac{GM(r_<)\rho(r)}{r^2}$ The notes are as follow: Consider a star with COM and a shell: $P_1 - P_2 = -{\...
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Are there stars that wouldn't look white to the naked eye? [duplicate]

I have a small YouTube channel in which I make videos about topics relating science and things I find interesting. The topic I'm working on recently is on the color of the sun. What I thought at the ...
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star gazing from the bottom of a well

I have read that it is a myth that you can see stars in daylight if you stood at the bottom of a well, however, if you stood at the bottom of a well at night, or built a long non reflective tube and ...
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Why does the Sun appear more round while distant stars can appear more pointed?

In a minute physics video about the shapes of stars, it mentions that stars in the night sky appear star-shaped due to imperfections in our eyes known as suture lines which cause diffraction. Then ...
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Binary Stars In the Universe

Almost 80% of stars seen in the universe are Binary stars.What makes them so abundant in the universe? Why isn't there other numbers but exactly two that is abundant?
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Free-Fall time of a collapsing Star (Spherical Symmetry/No Rotation/Classical Mechanics) [closed]

I have been trying to prove the free-fall time $(\tau_\text{ff})$ of a collapsing star, which is the time it would take a star to collapse due to gravity, in the absence of pressure or other ...
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How can we see stars if their apparent width is less than a pixel?

Stars are so far away that their apparent width is essentially zero when compared to any pixel of a camera or TV screen. And yet we can still see them. According to our eyes stars have a finite ...
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Observe stars with a cloudy sky

Is there any way to view the stars even in a cloudy sky? For example by using a particular camera, or a particular UV filter in front of the camera, and so on.
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Difference between speed of sound into a star

I try to understand the following graphics with x-axis being the radius of a typical star : I would like to knwo if $\delta c/c$ represents the relative error between theorical and experimental ...
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Is there any way looking at Stars from that I can understand that we are revolving around the Sun?(Not caring about other planets for now)

I am learning Astronomy. I videos or lessons I look at are already biased over heliocentric math to explain the parallax concept. I am looking for an intuition to get myself a deeper understanding of ...
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Why do our eyes perceive changes in apparent position of stars as twinkling?

Okay, so we all know that the changes in refractive index leads to continuous changes in star's apparent position but then why don't we see them moving up and down rather than brighten and dim in ...
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Why do black holes warp spacetime so much more than stars that have the same mass? [duplicate]

If I have a black hole with a mass that's exactly the same mass as a star, why does the black hole warp spacetime so much more (light can’t escape) than a star (light can escape) with the exact same ...
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How to get the Chandrasekhar Limit from a plot?

at the moment I am trying to understand, how to obtain the Chandrasekhar mass limit from a plot like shown above. Because for $n$ = 3, the mass is independent of the radius of the white dwarf. But in ...
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Is there evidence of gas ever forming a black hole without being a star first?

Here's my general understanding of how gas particles form a black hole: 1) Gravity pushes gas particles together. 2) These fast particles create heat (from friction due to them rubbing together?). ...