How hot is it inside the sun? How big is the red dwarf next door? And how long does Betelgeuse have before it explodes as a supernova? It’s all easy to calculate with just four seemingly simple equations. The interior of a star is predictable, both far into the past and into the future.
But, of course, nothing in the universe is as simple as it might seem at first glance, including stars. Because to calculate the structure and development of stars, you can’t get any further with paper, pencil and brain power alone. That’s why the first computers were of great help, even if they took up a whole room at the beginning and were fed with punch cards.
In this episode of the AstroGeo podcast, Franzi tells the story of one such “computer program” that has been in development since the 1960s: a code that tells physicists what it looks like inside a star and how a star will develop . Don’t worry: you don’t need any math or programming skills to enjoy this episode.