- Stellar wind
A stellar wind is a flow of neutral or charged gas ejected from the upper atmosphere of a
star. It is distinguished from the bipolar outflows characteristic of young stars by being less collimated, although stellar winds are not generally spherically symmetric.
Different types of stars have different types of stellar winds.
main sequence stars nearing the ends of their lives often eject large quantities of mass in massive ( solar masses per year), slow () winds. These include red giants and supergiants, and asymptotic giant branchstars. These winds are likely to be driven by radiation pressureon dust condensing in the upper atmosphere of the stars.
G stars like the Earth's
Sunhave a wind driven by their hot, magnetized corona. The Sun's wind is called the solar wind. These winds consist mostly of high-energy electronsand protons (about 1 keV) that are able to escape the star's gravitybecause of the high temperatureof the corona.
Massive stars of types O and B have stellar winds with lower mass loss rates ( solar masses per year) but very high velocities (). Such winds are driven by radiation pressure on the resonance absorption lines of heavy elements such as carbon and nitrogen. [cite journal| url=http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1975ApJ...195..157C| last= Castor| first=J.| coauthors=Abbott, D. C., & Klein, R. I.| title=Radiation-driven winds in Of stars| year=1975| journal=Astrophys. J.| volume=195| pages=157–174| doi=10.1086/153315] These high-energy stellar winds blow
stellar wind bubbles.
Although stellar winds from
main sequence stars do not strongly influence the evolution of the stars, during the later, post-main sequence phase, mass lost by stellar winds can decide the fate of the star. Many intermediate mass stars become white dwarfs at the ends of their lives rather than exploding as supernovae only because they lost enough mass in their winds.
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Look at other dictionaries:
stellar wind — n. streams of ionized gas particles constantly emitted in all directions by a star: cf. SOLAR WIND … English World dictionary
stellar wind — noun : plasma continuously ejected from a star s surface into surrounding space * * * ˌstellar ˈwind 7 [stellar wind] noun a flow of ↑particles from the surface of a star … Useful english dictionary
stellar wind — noun The equivalent of solar wind associated with a star other than our Sun … Wiktionary
stellar wind — stel′lar wind′ n. astron. phs the radial outflow of ionized gas from a star … From formal English to slang
stellar wind — noun Date: 1965 plasma continuously ejected from a star s surface into surrounding space … New Collegiate Dictionary
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stellar wind — noun Astronomy a continuous flow of charged particles from a star … English new terms dictionary
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