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Cluster of old Stars: Red Giant

Stages of the Star

Michelle King

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of Cluster of old Stars: Red Giant

By: Averie Dickinson and Michelle King Cluster of old Stars:Red Giant What is a Red Giant When Stars Become Red Giants HR Diagram End of Red Giant Stage The End Work Cited All images were imported from google images. -A red giant is a star that has used up its supply of hydrogen fuel at its core. -Without hydrogen there is nothing left to keep the star burning so the core begins to contract. -Its surface temperature drops to between 3,000 and 7,000 degrees and it outer shell begins to expand. -A star will spend the final 10 percent of its life as a red giant. It takes about 4 billion years to reach this stage. -Nuclear fusion is an atomic reaction where hydrogen is converted into helium and this fuels stars and created energy and the light we see. -The outer shell of the star is still made of mostly hydrogen and begins to expand. As it expands it cools and glows red which is where the name Red Giant came from. -The Red Giant phase of a star begins at the end of the main sequence or normal phase of a stars life. -After the normal phase a star has used up most of its hydrogen during nuclear fusion. -Helium is heavier than hydrogen so it sinks to the stars core and the hydrogen remains on the outside of the star. -Because of the lack of hydrogen the star is unstable and starts to contract. As this happens the star gets hotter. Betelgeuse -Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the constellation Orion the hunter marking his eastern shoulder.

- Its name is derived from the Arabic word bat al-dshauzâ, which means “the giant’s shoulder.”

-The star is approximately 640 light-years from Earth.

-Betelgeuse is roughly 950 times the size of our sun.
-If the sun were replaced by Betelgeuse, the planets out to the orbit of Mars would be engulfed by the star.

-It is predicted that this star will enter into supernova in the next 5,000 years. This will easily be seen from earth.

- Betelgeuse is the closest star in the Red Giant phase of its life to earth. - The size of a star will determine what will happen to it after the red giant stage. -A large star will undergo a supernova explosion. If the remnant of the explosion is 1.5 to 3 times as big as our Sun, it will become a neutron star. If it is 3 times the mass of our Sun or larger it will become a black hole. -For smaller stars, after the helium has fused into carbon at the core the core collapses again. When this happens the outer layers of the star are ejected and planetary nebula is formed. The core remains as a white dwarf and eventually cools to become a black dwarf. -The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) Diagram is a tool that astronomers use to classify stars according to their luminosity, color, temperature and stage of life. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/red_giant.aspx
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