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Inside a Star

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Although our diagram shows the various zones in a star as having distinct borders, in real stars things are not so clear. The core is the area at the center of the star in which all thermonuclear reactions are taking place. The core is under immense gravitational pressure from the rest of the star. In the sun, the core reaches 15,000,000 degrees Celsius. These are good conditions for sustaining fusion reactions.

From the core, the energy released by fusion must escape. In the radiative zone, most of the heat is transported by photons. In the cooler convective zone, photons have a harder time moving around, and most of the transport of heat is done by convection. The photosphere is the visible disc of the star. It radiates its heat into space as starlight. [TB] {EA}


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