10. Stellar Nurseries

Joshua Barnes -- Fall 1999

Last: 9. How Far the Stars? Next: 11. Origin of the Elements

Stars are born inside great clouds of cool gas and dust. Such a cloud may contain thousands of denser lumps of gas; some of these lumps collapse under their own weight. This gravitational compression heats the gas until thermonuclear reactions can occur. When the production of nuclear energy matches the rate at which energy escapes into space, the collapse halts and a main-sequence star is born.


Web Resources:

Homework 10: Main-Sequence Stars, due 11/01.

Quiz 10: How Hot The Sun?

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu)
Last modified: October 29, 1999