vik dhillon: phy213 - the observed properties of stars - introduction
Stellar interiors are not directly observable, with the exceptions that
the neutrinos emitted in the solar centre can be detected on Earth and
that vibrations of the solar surface can provide information using
techniques similar to seismology.
Schematic showing the the interior of the Sun.
So how can we learn about stellar interiors to the level of detail
depicted in figure 1? We can only do this by
constructing models of stellar interiors, based on the laws of physics
applied to the materials known to be present in stars. The predictions
of these models can then be tested by comparison with the observed
properties of individual stars and the correlations between these
properties exhibited by large groups of stars.