Read e-book online Blowing Bubbles in the Cosmos: Astronomical Winds, Jets, and PDF

By T. W. Hartquist

Many astrophysical our bodies produce winds, jets or explosions, which blow excellent bubbles. From a nonmathematical, unifying standpoint, according to the knowledge of bubbles, the authors tackle some of the most enjoyable themes in sleek astrophysics together with supernovae, the creation of constitution within the Early Universe, the environments of supermassive black holes and gamma-ray bursts.

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Example text

A more rigorous usage of temperature in connection with radiation fields necessitates the introduction of the concept of a black body radiation field. Such a radiation field has a particular type of distribution of energy with wavelength or frequency, which is shown in figure 2-1. A black body distribution peaks at a wavelength that is proportional to 1/TR. The power radiated per unit surface area by a black body is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature; consequently, one square meter of the surface of a star at 6,000 K radiates at a power about 16 times that of one square meter of the surface of a star at 3,000 K.

While hydrogen burning occurs, the star undergoes a remarkable change in its structure. As the helium core contracts, the outer atmosphere of the star greatly expands to as much as 1,000 times its former extent. The star has become a giant (not to be confused with massive) in spatial extent. There is no simple reason that this expansion takes place. It is generally agreed that several different physical mechanisms are involved, but there is no current consensus as to their relative importance. The surface temperature of the star in its expanded state is rather low, typically about 4,000 degrees Kelvin.

The conversion of energy stored in magnetic fields to heat probably causes the high coronal temperature (cf. 1). , that emitted by a star or that in the central regions of an active galaxy). At its very simplest level, we could say that the temperature of the radiation field, TR, is a measure of the energy of a typical photon in the radiation field. The energy of a photon is inversely proportional to the wavelength, so that a red photon has an energy less than that of a blue photon. Since the photon energy is proportional to TR, obviously the higher the temperature of the radiation field the bluer the photons emitted.

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