Reposted from @nobelprize_org Stars in the universe form from clouds of gas and dust. When these clouds are pulled together by gravitational force, energy is released in the form of heat. And when a high enough temperature is reached, reactions among the atomic nuclei in the star’s interior begin.
Beginning in the 1930s, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar formulated theories for the development that stars subsequently undergo. He showed that when the hydrogen fuel of stars of a certain size begins to run out, it collapses into a compact, brilliant star known as a white dwarf.
In the 1950s William Fowler showed how nuclear reactions in stars also account for how various elements are formed. These processes have created the elements that make up our earth and other heavenly bodies in the universe.
Both scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for their work.
Photo: The star cluster Westerlund 2 and its surroundings, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope / Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team
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