Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 118, Issue 1–2, pp 383–393 | Cite as

The injection of energy into the interstellar medium by stars (invited review)

  • Christopher F. McKee
Section 4b: Galactic Structure


Stars inject energy into the interstellar medium (ISM) by radiation, stellar winds, and supernova explosions. This energy injection causes the ISM to be inhomogeneous, which in turn alters the manner in which the energy is transferred through the ISM. A significant fraction of the energy is injected by massive stars, which formHii regions in the ISM. The structure and evolution ofHii regions in a cloudy medium deffers significantly from that in a homogeneous one. The strong stellar winds produced by massive stars form bubbles in the ISM, and the structure of these bubbles is often dominated by the structure of theHii region in which they are embedded. Finally, when the star explodes as a supernova, the evolution and appearance of the resulting remnant is determined by the structure of the bubble andHii region formed by the star during its lifetime.


Radiation Significant Fraction Interstellar Medium Massive Star Stellar Wind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher F. McKee
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physics and of AstronomyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyU.S.A.

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