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Stellar Models

Stellar Model In most cases, the density, the temperature, and the chemical composition of a star change appreciably only over very long time intervals. For the Sun, only 1% of the hydrogen is depleted and converted into helium in one billion years . Thus the change induced by nuclear fuel depletion is entirely negligible. A static stellar model is appropriate for the Sun and most of the main sequence stars. Time does not appear in any equation under this circumstance. Whether it is static or dynamic, the stellar structure is governed by five basic equations. In mathematical terms, they are a set of inter-dependent differential equations (see Figure 08-27). A verbal description is given below for simulating the structure of a main sequence star.

Figure 08-27 Stellar Model [view large image]

It is not possible to obtain an analytic solution to the stellar models. All realistic models are computed by numerical methods. Anyone who is interested in constructing stellar models, can find more information from many text books on stellar structure such as "Structure and Evolution of the Stars" by M. Schwarzschild, Princeton University Press, 1958 (Dover paperback, 1965). This classical text was the first modern monograph on stellar structure, and has since taught a generation of astro-physicists how to apply electronic computers to the computation of stellar models. It is still being recommended in reading list for course in stellar structure.

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