Solar physics is the branch of astrophysics that specialises 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.
Imagine a star so big that if it replaced the Sun, it could engulf the Solar System as far out as the orbit of Saturn. Or one that produces as much energy in one second as our Sun does in a hundred days. These are hypergiant stars.
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.
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.
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'.