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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?
12/11/2012Solar 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
05/10/2010Solar 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.
It always seems impossible until it's done.Nelson Mandela
Electron Degeneracy Pressure
05/10/2010Solar 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.
Binary Stars
08/05/2009Solar Physics
A binary star is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common centre of mass. The brighter star is called the primary and the other is its companion star or secondary.
Spectroscopy and Spectrometry
27/03/2009Solar Physics
Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between energy and matter as a function of wavelength. Spectrometry is a technique used for the identification of elements through analysis of a spectrum.
Death of a Star
26/03/2009Solar 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!
Redshift and Blueshift
26/03/2009Solar Physics
Redshift is an increase in the wavelength of light coming from an object due to its motion away from Earth. Blueshift is the opposite, a decrease in wavelength due to its motion towards Earth.
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
16/11/2008Solar 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'.
Black Holes
16/11/2008Solar Physics
A black hole is a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in a small area that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull.
What is a Star?
13/11/2008Solar Physics
A Star is a massive ball of gas which has contracted under gravity and begun the process of nuclear fusion.