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The Life Cycle of Stars
Transcript of The Life Cycle of Stars
begins to spin and heat up.
It is now called a
When the protostar's core heats up to
18 million degrees ...
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.
The compression causes it to heat up becoming hot enough to begin fusion of
When gravity and heat finally balance out, the star enters its
The Life Cycle of Stars
From this point, the fate of the star depends upon its mass.
Stars burning helium swell to become
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
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
The red giant often loses its outer atmosphere as it shrinks, forming beautiful
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
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
(iron), 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
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
If the remaining core has a mass of more than about 3 S.M. it will collapse out of existence forming a
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
See it? Me neither.
So how are elements heavier than iron created??
For more info on main sequence stars, click here.
Ever wonder what it would be like to fall into a black hole? Click here.