Solar Physics

Solar physics is the branch of astrophysics that specializes in the study of the Sun and stars. These articles cover types of stars, the life cycle of stars, spectroscopy and observations of our Sun.

 

When Will The Next Supernova Explode?
12th November 2012Solar Physics
For the last four hundred years the only supernovae we've seen have been in other galaxies. When is the Milky Way due its next supernova?
Chandrasekhar Limit
5th October 2010Solar Physics
The Chandrasekhar limit is an upper bound on the mass of bodies made from electron-degenerate matter, a dense form of matter which consists of nuclei immersed in a gas of electrons.
Electron Degeneracy Pressure
5th October 2010Solar Physics
Electron degeneracy pressure is a consequence of the Pauli exclusion principle, which states that two fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state at the same time. The force provided by this pressure sets a limit on the extent to which matter can be squeezed together without it collapsing into a neutron star or black hole.
Death of a Star
26th March 2009Solar Physics
Having spent a long happy life on the Main Sequence, like all things, the death of a star is inevitable, however it is often a catalyst for creating new stars, planets or even life!
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
16th November 2008Solar Physics
The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram shows the relationship between different properties of stars and illustrates trends among stars. The diagram was created in 1910 by Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell, and represented a huge leap forward in understanding stellar evolution, or the 'lives of stars'.
What is a Star?
13th November 2008Solar Physics
A Star is a massive ball of gas which has contracted under gravity and begun the process of nuclear fusion.
Spectral Classification of Stars
13th November 2008Solar Physics
In astronomy, spectral classification is a classification of stars based initially on photospheric temperature and its associated spectral characteristics, and subsequently refined in terms of other characteristics.
The Main Sequence
13th November 2008Solar Physics
The main sequence is the name for a continuous and distinctive band of stars that appear on a plot of stellar colour versus brightness.