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The Life Cycle of Stars

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Dan Chronis

on 7 September 2018

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Transcript of The Life Cycle of Stars

The collapsing
begins to
spin and heat up
It is now called a
When the protostar's core heats up to
18 million degrees
is born!
Main sequence
stars have a temperature and brightness related to their mass.
In the beginning:
A cloud of
dust and gas
called a

begins to condense due to

All stars eventually
run out of fuel
causes it to
heat up
becoming hot enough to begin fusion of
When gravity and heat finally balance out, the star enters its
main sequence
The Life Cycle of Stars
From this point, the fate of the star depends upon its
Stars burning helium swell to become
Red Giants
Super Giants
Gravity begins to win the war with heat.
Stars burning helium eventually run out of fuel again.
At this point, the young star burns very hot with violent
solar winds
Low mass stars
High mass stars
As the star runs out of fuel again it begins to compress due to gravity.
This time it can not muster enough heat to burn heavier elements, so it continues its collapse to become a
white dwarf
The red giant often loses its outer atmosphere as it cools and shrinks, forming beautiful
planetary nebulae
White dwarf stars only shine with the
leftover heat
from nuclear fires now long dead.
After billions of years no heat remains, and the dwarf no longer shines. This is a
black dwarf.
As the massive star runs out of helium, it shrinks due to gravity.
But this time, the greater mass creates enough heat to burn
heavier elements than helium
The giant star creates heavier and heavier elements until

, which it cannot burn. The iron builds up a core that the star cannot burn.
The iron core becomes unstable and collapses in a tremendous explosion called a
After the explosion, the remaining core of the star is subject to
persistent force.
The explosion blows much of the atmosphere of the star into space creating a new
If the core has a mass of less than about 3
solar masses (S.M.)
it will collapse into a
neutron star
If the remaining core has a mass of more than about 3 S.M. it will collapse out of existence forming a
black hole
As the star develops,

gravity and heat

begin the battle they
fight inside each star.
Gravity is constantly pushing in trying to crush the star.
Heat is constantly pushing out.
The new nebula contains the elements that will be incorporated into
new stars and solar systems.
See it? Me neither.
So how are elements heavier than iron created??
Main Sequence Stars
Ever wonder what it would be like to fall into a black hole? Click here.
Full transcript