Glossary term: Stellar Structure

Description: Simply speaking, stars are balls of gas (or better: plasma), held together by their own gravity, and kept from collapsing by their internal pressure. Models of stellar structure describe the details of how the conditions in a star's core lead to different kinds of nuclear fusion reactions, how the energy set free in those reactions is transported outward by radiation, conduction, or convection, and how the balance between gravity and pressure in the different segments of the star is maintained. In this way, stellar structure models also link the mass, luminosity, composition, and expected lifetime of a star. They also describe the role of stellar rotation, stellar evolution (how stars change over time), and the physics of stellar remnants.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".