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The Sun and Stars

  • John Wilkinson
Chapter
Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Abstract

The Sun is a star around which the Earth and other planets of the Solar System orbit. Like any star, the Sun is a glowing ball of hot ionised gas or plasma. The light and heat the Sun generates comes from nuclear reactions inside the Sun’s core. These reactions mainly involve the fusion of hydrogen into helium. As a result the Sun generates a tremendous outward pressure that is balanced by the inward pull of the Sun’s gravity, holding the star in a near spherical shape. This state is known as ‘hydrostatic equilibrium’ and stars spend most of their lives in this state.

Keywords

White Dwarf Spectral Type Main Sequence Star Type Star Metallic Line 
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.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CastlemaineAustralia

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