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Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

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  1. Chapter 13 The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard

  2. White Dwarfs... • ...are stellar remnants for low-mass stars. • ...are found in the centers of planetary nebula. • ...have diameters about the same as the Earth’s. • ...have masses less than the Chandrasekhar mass.

  3. Sirius B is a white dwarf star

  4. Sirius A And Sirius B In X-ray Sirius A Sirius B

  5. Novas and Supernovas • Nova - a stellar explosion • Supernova - a stellar explosion that marks the end of a star’s evolution • White Dwarf Supernova (Type I supernova)- occur in binary systems in which one is a white dwarf • Massive Star Supernova (Type II Supernova) - occur when a massive star’s iron core collapses

  6. Close Binary Systems and Mass Transfer

  7. Nova Herculis March 1935 May 1935

  8. Diagram of nova process

  9. Nova T Pyxidis (HST) A nova occurs when hydrogen fusion ignites on the surface of a white dwarf star system

  10. Light Curve of typical Nova

  11. Semidetached Binary System With White Dwarf Star (may result in a white dwarf (type I ) supernova)

  12. Type II Supernova • The star releases more energy in a just a few minutes than it did during its entire lifetime. • Example: SN 1987A • After the explosion of a massive star, a huge glowing cloud of stellar debris - a supernova remnant - steadily expands. • Example: Crab Nebula • After a supernova the exposed core is seen as a neutron star - or if the star is more than 3 solar masses the core becomes a black hole.

  13. On July 4, 1054 astronomers in China witnessed a supernova within our own galaxy. The remnant of this explosion is The Crab Nebula

  14. Supernova 1987a

  15. Type I and Type II Supernova

  16. Supernova Light Curves

  17. Hydrogen and Helium Burning

  18. Carbon Burning and Helium Capture

  19. Still heavier elements are created in the final stages of life of massive stars

  20. Alpha Process – Helium Capture produces heavier elements up to Fe and Ni.

  21. Elements beyond Fe and Ni involve neutron capture. This forms unstable nuclei which then decay into stable nuclei of other elements Formation of Elements beyond Iron occurs very rapidly as the star approaches supernova.

  22. The supernova explosion then distributes the newly formed matter throughout the interstellar space (space between the stars). • This new matter goes into the formation of interstellar debris. • The remnant core is a dense solid core of neutrons – a neutron star!

  23. Neutron Stars • ...are stellar remnants for high-mass stars. • ...are found in the centers of some type II supernova remnants. • ...have diameters of about 6 miles. • ...have masses greater than the Chandrasekhar mass. (1.4M)

  24. Relative Sizes Neutron Star Earth White Dwarf

  25. Pulsars • The first pulsar observed was originally thought to be signals from extraterrestrials. • (LGM-Little Green Men was their first designation) Period = 1.337301 seconds exact! ~ 20 seconds of Jocelyn Bell’s data- the first pulsar discovered

  26. It was later shown to be unlikely that the pulsar signal originated from extraterrestrial intelligence after many other pulsars were found all over the sky.

  27. Pulsars • The pulsing star inside the Crab Nebula was a pulsar. • Pulsars are rotating, magnetized neutron stars.

  28. The Crab Nebula

  29. The Crab Pulsar Period = 0.033 seconds = 33 milliseconds

  30. Light House Model • Beams of radiation emanate from the magnetic poles. • As the neutron star rotates, the beams sweep around the sky. • If the Earth happens to lie in the path of the beams, we see a pulsar.

  31. Rotating Neutron Star

  32. Light House model of neutron star emission accounts for many properties of observed Pulsars

  33. Artistic rendering of the light house model

  34. Rotation Rates of Pulsars • The neutron stars that appear to us as pulsars rotate about once every second or less. • Before a star collapses to a neutron star it probably rotates about once every 25 days. • Why is there such a big change in rotation rate? • Answer: Conservation of Angular Momentum

  35. Neutron –Star Binaries

  36. Mass Limits • Low mass stars • Less than 8 M on Main Sequence • Become White Dwarf (< 1.4 M) • Electron Degeneracy Pressure • High Mass Stars • Less than 100 M on Main Sequence • Become Neutron Stars (1.4M < M < 3M) • Neutron Degeneracy Pressure

  37. Black Holes • ...are stellar remnants for high-mass stars. • i.e. remnant cores with masses greater than 3 solar masses • …have a gravitational attraction that is so strong that light cannot escape from it. • …are found in some binary star systems and there may be super-massive black holes in the centers of some galaxies.

  38. Supermassive Stars • If the stellar core has more than three solar masses after supernova, then no known force can halt the collapse Black Hole Black holes were first predicted by the General Theory of Relativity, which is theory of gravity that corrects for some of the short-falls of Newton’s Theory of Gravity.

  39. In general Relativity, space, time and mass are all interconnected

  40. Space-Time No mass Distortion caused by mass

  41. Predictions of General Relativity • Advance of Mercury’s perihelion • Bending of starlight

  42. Advance of Mercury’s Perihelion 43” per century not due to perturbations from other planets

  43. Apparent position of the star Sun Light from star bent by the gravity of the Sun Bending of Starlight 1.75”

  44. Event Horizon Rs + Singularity Schwarzschild Black Hole Rs = 3(Mass) Mass Rs 3 M 9 km 5 15 10 30

  45. Near a Black Hole

  46. What Can We Know? • Mass • gravity • Charge • Electric Fields • Rotation Rate • Co-rotation

  47. How Can We Find Them? • Look for X-ray sources • Must come from compact source • White Dwarf • Neutron Star • Black Hole • Differentiate by Mass • WD - < 1.4 M • NS - between 1.4 and 3 M • BH - > 3 M

  48. Cygnus X-1