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Life Cycle of a Low Mass Star

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by

Kayla Poorman

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Life Cycle of a Low Mass Star

Life Cycle of a Low Mass Star
Step One (Main Sequence)
Stars spend billions of years fusing hydrogen to helium in the core. Once all of the hydrogen is converted to helium, the core shrinks and the star becomes more luminous. Nuclear fusion will eventually use up all of the hydrogen in the core.
Step Two (Red Giant)
Once there is no more core, gravity begins to make the star collapse. While the core is collapsing, the outer shell expands (the luminosity is increasing as this happens). The new star is called a red giant. It is in the red giants that the helium is transformed into carbon.
Step Three (Planetary Nebula)
Eventually, gravity can't hold in the outer layers anymore, so they are ejected into space. What is left is a carbon core that emits uv radiation, which ionizes gas. The gas that is ionized is called planetary nebula. Planetary nebula are usually oblong shaped, and very common.
Life Cycles of Stars
by: Connor, Jarrett, Josh, & Kayla

Step Four (White Dwarf)
All that would be left is the carbon core. This core that is cooling is called a white dwarf. White dwarfs are extremely dense. The core will eventually lose it's glow and become a black dwarf.
Life Cycle of a High Mass Star
Step One (Birth in the Stellar Nebulae)
Like all stars, medium mass stars are born in planetary nebulae. It starts as a clump of condensed gas that grows larger and larger and begins to spin.
Step Two (Protostar)
As the stars grow more and more, they attract more matter to themselves. The collecting of this matter calls for stronger gravity. The gravity becomes so strong that the core begins to fuse hydrogen atoms together. This fusion produces light and heat.
Step Three (Main Sequence)
The main sequence is where medium mass stars continue to fuse hydrogen into helium. This part of the cycle take about 10 billion years.
Step Four (Red Giant)
When the hydrogen is completely fused into helium, it begins to turn the helium into carbon and oxygen. The star will swell up to 100 times it's size, and starts to cool. It's light changes from yellow/white to red.
Step Five (White Dwarf)
After a Red Giant uses its helium, it shrinks to about 1% of it's original size. It cools down and eventually loses it's shine.
Life Cycle of a High Mass Star
Step One (Fusion)
When the star is at the right temperature and density, fusion of Hydrogen will begin.
Step Two (Red Giant)
As soon as the hydrogen is used up, the star becomes unstable and contracts. The helium is then fused into carbon. The core will then stop burning and the outer shell will begin to expand.
Step Three (Supernova)
When the core collapses, which only takes one second, the implosion causes a supernova. The shock wave will cause the outer layers to explode.
If the core survives the supernova, it will become either a neutron star or a black hole. To be a black hole, it has to have a solar mass of more than three.
Step Four (Neutron Star/Black Hole)
Full transcript