Stellar dynamics is the branch of science that describes on a statistical level the collective movement of celestial bodies subject to their own mutual gravity.
In layman’s terms, stellar dynamics describes the properties of a star in orbit around a common source, with masses and stellar wind speeds being the dominant forces. Basically, the first fundamental issue of stellar dynamics is that of the N-body Problem, where the N objects refer to all the known inner planets in our solar system. The second is that of the velocities of celestial objects, which can be measured with precision. Both these issues are integral parts of stellar dynamics.
The third issue of stellar dynamics deals with the equilibrium of extremely high temperature (high KOH Gamma ) plasma flows.
Plasma physics describes the study of extremely hot gases, which tend to collapse due to high pressure into low density. The study of stellar dynamics takes this into account, by calculating the effects of stellar wind speeds on the creation of radiation belts, which pull matter into the cold regions. The fourth issue of stellar dynamics deals with the effects of binary pulsars on planetary mergers and planetary outflows.
A problem that has plagued theoretical studies of stellar systems for decades is the presence of inhomogeneities in the initial formation process of planetary solar systems.
The reason is that these inhomogeneities make it impossible for standard statistical mechanics to describe stellar systems as a pure function of mass and gravity. This problem is further compounded by the lack of a deterministic method by which to test the existence of inhomogeneities. However, with the recent development of advanced tools and software in the field of plasma physics, it is now possible to test the validity of certain assumptions and to derive constraints on the nature of stellar evolution using statistical mechanics alone. One such tool is the jeans equations that enable testing and validating the properties of stellar structures.
The consistency of the distribution of matter in a stellar system with respect to the alignment of its spin axis is one of the most fundamental questions of stellar dynamics.
Jumps among stellar systems are the result of perturbations caused by their spins, which are typically proportional to some value. A perturbation that creates such a large perturbation can significantly alter the spin axis orientation of a gas or wind, leading to a regime shift in the distribution of the matter in space. A similar case can be made for planets in mutual orbit around their parent star.
Astronomy has been one of the areas of study in modern times that has most extensively utilized the predictive power of celestial mechanics.
Optical measurements of stellar surfaces can be used to study stellar nuclei, and the properties of stellar systems can be analyzed with the help of stellar dynamics tools. The precision with which these measurements are performed depends largely on the quality of the observational instruments used. For example, while a relatively modest perturbation in a medium like plasma can be detected with relatively low-quality optical telescopes, in the case of celestial dynamics it is rather difficult to extract a signal from a single stellar model.
Stellar dynamics has been criticized on at least two counts.
First, some astronomers have argued that the celestial mechanics involved in this theory is too complicated to be a self-contained subject in a scientific theory. Second, some say that the present theory cannot accurately capture the basic properties of the stellar systems studied, and cannot be successfully tested using observational techniques. Critics argue that even if stellar dynamics could be proven, there would be an inherent flaw in the astrophysical models that predict the evolution of the entire solar system and the Milky Way more generally.
In contrast, there are many who counter the view that stellar dynamics is not as complicated as it is made out to be.
Models of stellar evolution that make use of tens of thousands of numerical parameters, are able to provide accurate predictions of stellar system growth, including stellar population structure, velocity distributions, and stellar wind speeds. Furthermore, models of stellar dynamics that incorporate multiple scales of perturbation, such as velocity fluctuations within a gas or large scale clouds, have been found to fit observational data remarkably well. Some researchers also suggest that the relation between stellar fields and the evolution of the universe may be much stronger than previously believed, although these claims remain highly controversial.
Stellar deformation is a topic that has occupied the interest of many in the astronomical community over the past decade or so. Because astronomers have been unable to directly observe celestial motion at smaller distances, this aspect of stellar dynamics remains relatively obscure. Astronomy is currently best served by models of stellar systems at smaller distances, because observation at greater distances is practically impossible. Advances in science and technology will no doubt shed new light on this fascinating aspect of the cosmos.