Life of a Star

Life of a Star

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  • Stars are born in dense molecular clouds that are composed of gas and dust. These clouds are called stellar nurseries.
  • Gravity then pulls particles together to form clumps that over time continue to get larger and larger. If they become large enough, the pressure will generate heat.
  • Next nuclear fusion occurs and gravity brings hydrogen atoms together to fuse them into helium atoms. This reaction provides the energy that allows the star to ignite.
  • A star then begins its main sequence which lasts for the majority of the star's life. What occurs after this is determined by the star's mass. Our sun and other mid-sized stars become white dwarfs.
  • Once the star uses up its hydrogen core it expands and cools becoming a red giant. Eventually, it expands so much that it causes the objects around it to explode. Then it collapses under gravity and sheds its outer layers forming a planetary nebula.
  • Other stars die by collapsing rapidly and exploding into supernovas.
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