Life Cycle of a Star

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  • Created by: asdfghjkl
  • Created on: 04-05-13 13:50

Life Cycle of a Star

Firstly the star starts out a protostar which is a gas and dust cloud in space that can go onto form a star.

Low Mass Stars

Protostars - Main Sequence Star - Red Giant - White dwarf - Black dwarf

Smaller stars about the same size of the star (or smaller) swell out, cool down and turn red

High Mass Stars

Protostar - Main Sequence Star - Red supergiant - supernova - blackhole if sufficent mass

Bigger stars end their life much more dramatically!! Such a star swells out to become a super red giant which then collapses. The matter surrounding the star compresses, then the compression suddenly reverses in a cataclysmic explosion known as a supernova. An event like this can outshine the entire galaxy for weeks.

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What remains and what chemicals are formed?

What remains after a supernova occurs?

The compression compresses the core of the star into a neutron star.

If the star is big enough (huge) it'll become a black hole instead, the gravitational field of a black hole is so strong nothing can escape it. Not even light or any other form of electromagnetic radiation, can escape.

What chemical elements are formed inside stars and supernovas?

  • Elements as heavy as iron (light elements) are formed inside stars as a result of nuclear fusion.
  • Elements heavier than iron are formed in supernovas as well as light elements.

The sun and the solar system were formed from the debris of a supernova.

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