Life Cycle of a Star

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  • Life Cycle of a Star
    • Protostar
      • Dust and gas is pulled together and become more concentrated
      • Main Sequence Star
        • Red Giant
          • White Dwarf
            • Black Dwarf
              • The star goes cold and fades out.
            • No lighter elements, so fusion stops. The forces are no longer balanced and gravity takes over. The core begins to relax and get hot.
          • The surface cools and helium and other light elements fuse together. Elements larger than iron cannot be formed.
        • Red Super Giant
          • Supernova
            • Neutron Star
              • After the explosion, a dense core is left behind.
            • Black Hole
              • If the core is really dense, it has such a high field of gravity that not even light can escape from.
            • When the core collapses, the core becomes compressed, and it explodes.
              • It is hot enough for large nuclei to fuse together, making heavier elements, which are then scattered into space by the explosion
          • A large star will swell up at this stage. It will then begin to collapse.
        • Gravity causes the core to become denser, eventually it is hot enough for hydrogen to fuse together to make helium.
          • The star is stable, because the inwards force of gravity is balanced by the outwards forces of the radiation frokm the nuclear reaction
          • It will stay stable for a long time because there is lots of hydrogen available.

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