Life cycle of a star

Although the exact values for the luminosity, radius, mass parameter, and mass may vary slightly in the future due to observational uncertainties, the IAU nominal constants will remain the same SI values as they remain useful measures for quoting stellar parameters. Large lengths, such as the radius of a giant star or the semi-major axis of a binary star system, are often expressed in terms of the astronomical unit — approximately equal to the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun million km or approximately 93 million miles. Inthe IAU defined the astronomical constant to be an exact length in meters: Stellar evolution Stars condense from regions of space of higher matter density, yet those regions are less dense than within a vacuum chamber.

Life cycle of a star

This is usually the result of one of several events that may occur to initiate the gravitational collapse of a molecular cloud.

What is the Life Cycle Of The Sun? - Universe Today

The means by which this occurs include galactic collisions or a devastating nearby supernova explosion sending ruptured matter into the clouds at very high speeds.

This is just the beginning. Once such a large amount of gas and dust huddle together, they form what we call a protostar. An object is considered a protostar for as long as material is still falling inward. For our Sun, and stars of the same mass, the protostar phase would have ended after approximatelyyears.

After this, the protostar stops growing and the disk of material surrounding it is destroyed by radiation. If the protostar was unsuccessful in acquiring Life cycle of a star mass, a brown dwarf will come into shape. These poor little guys are substellar objects that are unable to sustain hydrogen fusion reactions in their cores, due to their insufficient mass.

Main sequence stars have no issue with this, to the envy of brown dwarfs. Putting it simply, a brown dwarf is too big to be called a planet, and too small to be called a star.

The Life of a Star

Untilthey were only a theoretical concept. Image via Wikimedia by Tyrogthekreeper If the star is big enough to fuse hydrogen atoms into helium, it will enter the phase that our Sun is in, called the main sequence phase.

A star will enjoy most of its life in the main sequence phase. At this point nuclear fusion is turning hydrogen into helium. Approximately nine out of ten stars in the universe are main sequence stars.

The Birth of the Sun:

These stars can range from around a tenth of the mass of our Sun all the way up to times as massive, and how long a star will stay in the main sequence phase depends on its size. A star with higher mass might have more material to play around with, but it will burn faster due to higher core temperatures caused by greater gravitational forces.

A star the size of our Sun will spend about 10 billion years in this phase, but a star 10 times the size of our own will stick around for only 20 million years.

After the main sequence phase, the star will become a red giant. A red giant is a dying star in one of the last stages of stellar evolution. After stars stop converting hydrogen into helium via nuclear fusion, gravity will take over.

Red giant stars reach sizes of 62 million to million miles in diameter million to 1 billion kilometresto 1, times the size of the sun today. The energy of the star is spread out across a larger area, like the pixels when one expands a raster graphic.

Because of this, the star actually becomes cooler reaching only a little more than half the heat of the Sun. The temperature change causes stars to shine more towards the red part of the spectrum; it is this that gives a red giant its name. Where a star goes from this point depends on its size.

These old stellar remnants are incredibly dense.

Life cycle of a star

Estimating how long a white dwarf has been cooling helps astronomers increase their understanding of how old the universe really is. After an unimaginable amount of time — tens or even hundreds of billions of years — a white dwarf will cool until it becomes a black dwarf, which are invisible because they are emitting at the same temperature as the microwave background.

Because of the age of the universe and what we know about its oldest stars, there are no known black dwarfs. Alternatively, a star with at least eight solar masses will have a much more violent, yet much more beautiful, death. When supernovae explode, they fling their guts into space at speeds of 9, to 25, miles per second.

These blasts produce much of the material in the universe including some heavy elements such as iron, which help to make up both ourselves and our planet, so all of us carry the remnants of these explosions in our bodies. Neutron stars are hard to find and are very mysterious objects.

They are extremely dense: A cubic metre of a neutron star would weigh just less than billion tonnes. All of that density makes their surface gravity truly immense. A Neutron Star — Small but scary. Black holes literally pull the space around them.

They need to have a massive amount of mass in an incredibly small space to have the required gravity to pull in light.

To put this into perspective, to make a black hole out of the Earth the entire planet would need to be squeezed down to the size of a pea! These mysterious and frightening objects can slow down time and rip you apart and nothing can escape the grasp of a black hole when it reaches its event horizon.

Any matter that enters its path is never seen again. Some researchers think black holes actually help create the elements because they break down matter into subatomic particles.May 07,  · Life Cycles of Stars A star's life cycle is determined by its mass.

The larger its mass, the shorter its life cycle. A star's mass is determined by the amount of matter that is available in its nebula, the giant cloud of gas and dust from which it was time, the hydrogen gas in the nebula is pulled together by gravity and it .

A star is a large mass of plasma matter held together by gravitational forces. Near the end of its life a star can also have a significant portion of degenerate matter.

Sun is the star nearest Earth. At night other stars become visible when not obscured by the Sun’s light or atmospheric interference. In the [ ]. Coverage from the Star's Life section. Find articles on lifestyle, toronto living, technology, food, fashion, travel, health, homes and more at For at least a portion of its life, a star shines due to thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium in its core, In more massive stars, helium is produced in a cycle of reactions catalyzed by carbon called the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle.

One of six centers under Air Force Materiel Command, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the single center responsible for total life cycle management of Air Force weapon systems. Life Cycle of a Star Stars are formed in clouds of gas and dust, known as nebulae. Nuclear reactions at the centre (or core) of stars provides enough energy to make them shine brightly for many years.

Game: The Life Cycle of a Star | The Royal Institution: Science Lives Here