[mesa-users] A common stellar-structure myth

RICHARD H D TOWNSEND townsend at astro.wisc.edu
Tue Aug 30 17:52:26 EDT 2016

Hi folks —

While reading the textbook I’m going to be teaching from this semester (“Pathways to Astronomy”, by Schneider & Arny), I came across this common myth about stellar structure:

“The stronger gravity of a more massive star drives up the rate of nuclear fusion dramatically, while smaller stars consume their fuel at a more leisurely pace”.

The attached figure, courtesy of MESA, shows the internal gravity for 1Msun and 10Msun stars at the ZAMS — and nicely busts the myth.



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