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The Life Cycle of a Super Giant Blue Star

Made as an Earth Science project
by

Tristan Engst

on 21 December 2012

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Transcript of The Life Cycle of a Super Giant Blue Star

Forming in a Stellar Nebula Stellar Nebulae, also known as stellar nurseries, are where stars first begin to form. They consist of clouds that are made almost completely of hydrogen gas but also have a tiny amount of extremely small dust particles, and they are about 25 LY in diameter, on average. Depending on the amount of hydrogen and dust in it, a stellar nebula can form many stars; it can have between 100,000 to several trillions of solar masses worth of material. They typically have between 100 to 1,000 molecules per cubic cm, and a typical temperature of only 1 to 10 kelvin. Mostly, these nebulae just sit around until a gravitational disturbance—such as that created by the shock wave of a supernova—causes certain parts of the nebula to clump together and get denser compared to other parts of the nebula. This process is called accretion. However, if the denser parts of a nebula don't have enough mass, they will dissolve. If they have over a mass known as "Jean's Mass," the pockets of dense nebula will continue to pick up other parts of the nebula with gravity. As they get denser and gain more mass, they will have greater gravity, get hotter, and start to collapse in on themselves, until they form a protostar. This is an image of the Eagle Nebula. As a Protostar The process continues, and a protostar is formed. Its core is about 2,000–3,000 kelvin, with a ring of hydrogen and dust around it. Some of this material will get drawn into the star, while some of it will end up in orbit of it. A protostar will produce large amounts of microwave and infrared radiation. Protostars can have a variable diameter and mass, that can easily range into multiple solar masses. This stage in stellar evolution can take approximately 100,000 years, as the core keeps
heating up. Eventually, the protostar will turn into a T Tauri star, and it will throw its ring of hydrogen and dust away from it with strong solar winds. When this happens, it becomes visible without its cocoon of dust and gas for the first time. Eventually, the core will get so hot that it becomes a main sequence star. A protostar As a Main Sequence Star Being a main sequence star is what happens to a protostar once it reaches a temperature of 10 million kelvin. When it does this, nuclear fusion of the hydrogen in the star begins to take place, turning the hydrogen into helium. The outflow of energy and radiation made by this process balances the gravitational pull of the star on itself that would collapse the star if not for the outflow of energy. A star that is balanced in this way is known as a stable star. It can take millions of years for this process to work, and in that time, the star's size will fluctuate.

Stars with more mass have a greater gravitational force trying to get them to collapse in on themselves, so they must have a higher rate of nuclear fusion going on to produce more energy outflow to balance this. This greater rate of fusion takes place because the star's greater gravity creates more internal pressure, which in turn creates more heat, and a greater rate of fusion. These larger stars stay in the main sequence for less time than smaller stars.

Eventually, a main sequence star will burn through its supply of hydrogen, and if it's big enough—a star with more than 10 solar masses—it will end up next as a red super giant... The sun is an example of a main sequence star. As a Red Super Giant When a star burns through its supply of hydrogen, it will no longer produce enough radiation to balance its gravity, and it will begin to collapse. However, if it's big enough, this will put the hydrogen-turned-helium in the star under enough pressure, and therefor heat, to begin rapidly fusing into heavier elements such as carbon and oxygen. This rapid fusion will release vast amounts of energy that will inflate the star to roughly 1,500 solar masses.

However, the star doesn't stop fusing elements until it reaches a mostly iron core. While it does this, the rate of fusion can oscillate wildly, which by means of changing the energy output that balances the stars gravity, can cause the star's size to vary. When the star gets smaller (in terms of diameter), its surface gets hotter, and turns blue as a result. At that point, the star will begin more rapid nuclear fusion due to higher heat (due to increased pressure), and expand. This inflation will cool the star's surface turning it back into a red super giant; super giant stars can often vary between red and blue states. While it is between these states, it is a yellow super giant.

At some point, most of the star's core will become iron, which can't be fused in such a way as to release more energy than is used fusing it. When this occurs, usually in a red state, a super giant will do something very destructive... Main sequence stars have:

A diameter of about .18 to 8 solar radii
A mass of about .1 to 40 solar masses
A time in this stage of about several million years, (for high mass stars) to several billion years for smaller ones
A temperature of 3,120 to 45,500 kelvin
An emission spectra of 450 to 650 nm Properties of a Main Sequence Star Properties of Red Super Giants Red Super Giants have:

A size of about 200–800 solar radii (less than 25 solar radii for blue super giants)
A mass of about 1,500 solar masses
A time in this stage of about 10–99 million years
A outer temperature of 3,500–4,500 kelvin (hotter for blue ones)
A spectra of 450–650 nm The red super giant Betelgeuse Going Out with a Bang, Part I: Type II Supernova A supernova A super giant blue star will eventually, often in the form of a red super giant, end in a type II supernova. When the iron in its core can't be effectively fused, the energy released by nuclear fusion now isn't present. The super giant violently implodes due to its now un-countered gravity, sending the star's outer layers into the core. However, they rebound in a massive explosion of about 1/2 the mass of the star, sending energy and bits of the star off into space. These bits of the star can sometimes become nebulae. A supernova can outshine a galaxy of billions of stars temporarily. So what about the other 1/2 of the star? Properties of a Type II Supernova A Type II supernova has:

A mass depending on the size of the star
A diameter varied upon the star's size
An occurrence of 1 per 100 years in a given galaxy
A maximum temperature of a few billion degrees
A varied spectra
A really large neutrino and gamma ray burst Going Out with a Bang, Part II, Black Hole If a remaining 1/2 of a star after a supernova has more than 3 solar masses, it will form a black hole. If not, it will form a neutron star. When a type II supernova occurs, the 1/2 of the star remaining will be the heavy iron core. If the core has less than 3 solar masses, it will form a neutron star. If it has over that amount, it will collapse in on itself and form a black hole. A black hole is essentially a point of infinitely small infinite density, called a singularity, enveloped by its event horizon, which is the area around the singularity that marks the point at which light can't escape the gravitational pull of the singularity. Thus, because no light can come from this space (except on very rare occasions), it appears black, hence the name. When stuff is sucked in by the immense gravity, its mass is eventually added to the singularity. Properties of a Black Hole A black hole has:

An extremely huge mass
A volume depending on its mass
This stage in a star takes an unknown amount of time
An unknown, but probably very hot temperature
No discernible specific elements
A spectra of nothing Super Giant Stars Bibliography Used in "Stellar Nebula"

"Lives and Deaths of Stars." Lives and Deaths of Stars. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.astronomynotes.com/evolutn/s3.htm>.

Spaulding, Nancy E., and Samuel N. Namowitz. "Formation of Stars." Earth Science. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2003. 385. Print.

"File:Eagle_nebula_pillars.jpg." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eagle_nebula_pillars.jpg>.



Used in "Protostars"

Spaulding, Nancy E., and Samuel N. Namowitz. "Formation of Stars." Earth Science. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2003. 385. Print.

"Lives and Deaths of Stars." Lives and Deaths of Stars. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.astronomynotes.com/evolutn/s3.htm>.

"Protostar." Daviddarling.info. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/P/protostar.html>.





Used in "Main Sequence Star"

"Lives and Deaths of Stars." Lives and Deaths of Stars. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.astronomynotes.com/evolutn/s3.htm>.

"Main Sequence Stars." About.com Space / Astronomy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://space.about.com/od/stars/a/Main-Sequence-Stars.htm>.

"File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg>. Used in "Super Red Giant"

"Red Supergiants." Http://space.about.com/. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://space.about.com/od/stars/a/Red-Supergiant-Stars.htm>.

"Blue Supergiants." Http://space.about.com/. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://space.about.com/od/stars/a/Blue-Supergiants.htm>.

"Supergiant Star." Http://www.universetoday.com/. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://www.universetoday.com/25325/supergiant-star/>. Used in "Going Out with a Bang, Part I: Type II Supernovas"

"Supernovae." Http://space.about.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://space.about.com/od/nebulae/a/Supernovae.htm>.

"Scientists-detect-12-billion-year-old-supernova-the-oldest-yet-observed." Blogs.discovermagazine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/11/06/scientists-detect-12

"Stage 8: Planetary Nebula or Supernova." Astronomynotes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://www.astronomynotes.com/evolutn/s6.htm>. Used in "Going Out with a Bang, Part II: Black Holes"

"Black Hole." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole>.

"File:BH_LMC.png." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BH_LMC.png>. A simulated black hole in the Magellanic Cloud The image found in the Bibliography is cited:

"File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg>. Tracking a Super Giant Star on a Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram 1. 2 In a little while, you will get to a Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram. You can find where a super giant star as a main sequence star will be on it by finding the number 1. With this, you can see how it compares to other stars. In a little while, you will get to a Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram. You can find where a super giant star will be on it by finding the number 2. With this, you can see how it compares to other stars. Image for Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram from:

"Patterns in the HR Diagram." Web.njit.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://web.njit.edu/~gary/202/Lecture17.html>. Thanks for viewing!

Made by Tristan Engst
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