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Stellar Evolution. Chapter 29.3. A. Star Size Mass – the mass of a star determines the size, temperature, and brightness of the star. - The greater the mass, the greater the gravity. - The greater the gravity the hotter and brighter the star burns.

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stellar evolution

Stellar Evolution

Chapter 29.3

slide2

A. Star Size

Mass – the mass of a star determines the size, temperature, and brightness of the star.

- The greater the mass, the greater the gravity.

- The greater the gravity the hotter and brighter the star burns.

- Hotter and brighter stars burn up fuel at a faster rate.

slide3

B. Stellar Evolution

1. Beginning

- Stars form from a large rotating cloud of gas and dust called a nebula.

- As gravitational forces cause the cloud to contract, a center, called a protostar, begins to form.

- When the core temperature of the protostar reaches a high enough temperature, fusion of hydrogen begins and a star is born.

Public Domain – www.nasa.gov

slide4

2. Small Stars (Sun-Sized)

- Sun-sized stars take about 10 billion years to expend their hydrogen fuel.

- When the hydrogen fuel in the core is exhausted, the star swells to become a red giant.

- The helium in the core fuses to form carbon until the helium is used up.

- At this point the star shrinks to form a white dwarf.

Wikipedia

Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint dot to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A

Wikipedia

slide5

3. Large Stars

- These stars use up their fuel much quicker and therefore do not last as long as smaller stars.

- When their fuel is consumed, the internal gravitational forces may cause electrons & protons in the core to fuse together to form neutrons, thus forming a neutron star.

- Neutron stars may form pulsars, or rotating beacons of light.

Public Domain – www.nasa.gov

Public Domain – www.nasa.gov

slide6

Video – Fusion Produces Elements (3:42 min)

- Others may begin to fuse heavier elements until an iron core develops and explodes in a supernova.

- Very massive stars may be too large to form neutron stars and collapse in on themselves to from a black hole.

Public Domain – www.nasa.gov