Unit 6 Project-Densham


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  • Star Formation 
  • Main Sequence Stars 
  • Subgiant, Red Giant, or Supergiant 
  • When ISM clouds get dense enough or perturbations occur within the cloud, the pressure of self-gravitation can get too much which causes the regions to collapse. This results in a higher pressure, which correlates into a higher temperature as the gravitational energy is transformed into heat. A protostar is created in the center of the region . 
  • Core Fusion 
  • If the star has a high enough mass, the collapsing gas and dust within them will burn even higher, and will eventually become hot enough to fuse hydrogen into helium. The star becomes a main sequence star that is fueled by the hydrogen fusion. which causes an outward balance that stabilizes the star. 
  • Planetary Nebula or Supernova 
  • The star runs out of core fusion fuel which causes the hydrostatic equilibrium to become unstable. The core shrinks, which causes a fast fusion within the core to occur. 
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  • The core has shrunk so much that high enough temperatures are produced that begins a Helium fusion. This fusion is very fast in low-mass stars. 
  • Low mass stars will become a planetary nebula as the core shrinks to its most compact state and some of the outer layers are reduced. High mass stars will have a Supernova explosion that occurs because the core of the star has formed a neutron star which affects the outer layers. 
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