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The Lifecycle of A Star

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Liz Laurie

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of The Lifecycle of A Star

Stellar nebula
Massive Star

Planetary Nebula
A planetary nebula forms when fuel is lacking in a red giant and causes the inevitable gravitational force to cause everything to collapse to the core. As the core cannot hold, it causes a widespread explosion. The explosion causes the outer layers of the original star to burst into space leaving the image of:
White Dwarfs

Black Dwarfs
The core of the planetary nebula is now a dead core and it becomes a white dwarf. It glows becasue it is extremely hot. It cools down over billions of years to form a black dwarf.
Red Supergiant
This is the stage when the hydrogen has burnt off and it is just fusing helium, which makes the temperature rise, hence why the colour turns to red/orange. The red supergiant compared to the giant is just bigger n mass and when it dies it will go to a supernova.
Star Life
Average Star

Red giant

The gravitational attraction of a part of interstellar medium causes collapsing and clumping. This ultimately forms the Stellar Nebula. It increases in temperature and gets hot enough to start fusing. If this fusion is stable it creates a main sequence star. The Stella Nebula is found in space and is made up of dust, plasma hydrogen and helium gas.
Neutron Star
Black Hole
(Approximately the same size as our sun)
This is also known as the main sequence star as it keeps a stable nuclear reaction and fuses hydrogen into helium at its core. It will spend the majority of its life in this stage (roughly 10 billion years.)
The red giant is the later phase of a stars life. They are quite large, larger than their initial size. It is hot at its core causing the colour of red/orange . The cause of this is the lack and weakness of the hydrogen, and the fusion of helium.
A massive star is like an average star however a massive star has a greater mass. A massive star will spend less of its life in the main sequence because it has greater mass, therefore it will burn the gases quicker due to higher temperatures. The life expectancy of a massive star in the main sequence qs 10-15 million year.
(Much larger than our sun)
This occurs when fuel has run out and all the atoms have converted into iron atoms.The weight of the star collapses due to no resistance and the power of gravity. When the collapse of matter reaches the core (which is made up of iron) it has a reverse reaction and explodes outwards. A supernova can outshine a whole galaxy.
The core left after the explosion of a supernova is eventually squashed by the force of gravity. This causes protons and electrons to pair, which creates neutrons. This develops into a heavy ball of neutrons,therefore a neutron star is born. They are roughly 20km in diameter and hold less mass than our sun. They spiral fast to generate pulses and they have a magnetic field.
These occur when the neutrons formed from a massive supernova cannot hold their shape, therefore they compress to infinite density. A hole is formed and has extreme gravitational forces which pulls everything in, inclusing light.
* http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/bmendez/ay10/2000/cycle/planetarynebula.html
* http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/dwarfs.html
* http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/lessons/xray_spectra/background-lifecycles.html

Our Sun
A timeline of its birth to its death and what stage of its life it is in now.
Human Analogy
This diagram shows the comparison of the stages of life for a human and the stages of life for a star.
The mass of the star when it is born will determine which cycle of life it will take.
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