2 Leaving the Main Sequence The core begins to collapseH shell heats up and H fusion begins therethere is less gravity from above to balance this pressureso the outer layers of the star expandthe star is now in the subgiant phase of its life
5 When core hydrogen fusion ceases, a main-sequence star becomes a giant When hydrogen in the core is no longer fusing into helium, the star can no longer support its weight The enormous weight from the outer layers compresses hydrogen in the layers just outside the core enough to initiate shell hydrogen fusion. This extra internal heat causes the outer layers to expand into a giant star.
7 Helium fusion begins at the center of a giant While the exterior layers expand, the helium core continues to contract and eventually becomes hot enough (100 million Kelvin) for helium to begin to fuse into carbon and oxygencore helium fusion3 He C + energy and C + He O + energyoccurs rapidly - called the Helium Flash
9 Life Track after Helium Flash Models show that a red giant should shrink and become less luminous after helium fusion begins in the core.
10 Life Track after Helium Flash Observations of star clusters agree with those models.Helium-burning stars are found on a horizontal branch on the H-R diagram.
11 Red Giants The He core collapses until it heats to 108 K He fusion begins ( He C)sometimes called the “triple- process”The star, called a Red Giant, is once again stable.gravity vs. pressure from He fusion reactionsred giants create and release most of the Carbon from which organic molecules (and life) are made
12 Red GiantsHelium-burning stars neither shrink nor grow because core thermostat is temporarily fixed.
14 Planetary Nebulae When the Red Giant exhausts its He fuel the C core collapsesLow mass stars don’t have enough gravitational energy to heat to 6 x 108 K (temperature where Carbon fuses)The He & H burning shells overcome gravitythe outer envelope of the star is gently blown awaythis forms a planetary nebulaThis animation is from the Hubble Space Telescope archive and is in the public domain.For policy statement see:Movie. Click to play.
24 High Mass Main Sequence Stars The CNO cycle is another nuclear fusion reaction which converts Hydrogen into Helium by using Carbon as a catalyst.Effectively 4 H nuclei go IN and 1 He nucleus comes OUT.
25 High Mass Main Sequence Stars CNO cycle begins at 15 million degrees and becomes more dominant at higher temperatures.The C nucleus has a (+6) charge, so the incoming proton must be moving even faster to overcome the electromagnetic repulsion!!The Sun (G2) -- CNO generates 10% of its energyF0 dwarf CNO generates 50% of its energyO & B dwarfs -- CNO generates most of the energy
27 SupergiantsWhat happens to the high mass stars when they exhaust their He fuel?They have enough gravitational energy to heat up to 6 x 108 K.C fuses into OC is exhausted, core collapses until O fuses.The cycle repeats itself.O Ne Mg Si Fe
29 Multiple Shell Burning Advanced nuclear burning proceeds in a series of nested shells.
30 Supergiants on the H-R Diagram As the shells of fusion around the core increase in number:thermal pressure overbalances the lower gravity in the outer layersthe surface of the star expandsthe surface of the star coolsThe star moves toward the upper right of H-R Diagramit becomes a red supergiantexample: BetelgeuseFor the most massive stars:the core evolves too quickly for the outer layers to respondthey explode before even becoming a red supergiant
31 The Iron (Fe) ProblemThe supergiant has an inert Fe core which collapses & heatsFe can not fuseIt has the lowest mass per nuclear particle of any elementIt can not fuse into another element without creating massSo the Fe core continues to collapse until it is stopped by electron degeneracy.(like a White Dwarf)
32 SupernovaBUT… the force of gravity increases as the mass of the Fe core increasesGravity overcomes electron degeneracyElectrons are smashed into protons neutronsThe neutron core collapses until abruptly stopped by neutron degeneracythis takes only secondsThe core recoils and sends the rest of the star flying into space
33 SupernovaThe amount of energy released is so great, that most of the elements heavier than Fe are instantly createdIn the last millennium, four supernovae have been observed in our part of the Milky Way Galaxy: in 1006, 1054, 1572, & 1604Crab Nebula in Taurussupernova exploded in 1054
34 Tycho’s Supernova (X-rays) SupernovaeTycho’s Supernova (X-rays)exploded in 1572Veil Nebula
35 Summary of the Differences between High and Low Mass Stars Compared to low-mass stars, high-mass stars:live much shorter liveshave convective cores, but no other convective layerswhile low-mass stars have convection layers at their surfaceshave a significant amount of pressure supplied by radiationfuse Hydrogen via the CNO cycle instead of the p-p chaindie as a supernova; low-mass stars die as a planetary nebulacan fuse elements heavier than Carbonmay leave either a neutron star or black hole behindlow-mass stars leave a white dwarf behindare far less numerous
36 Close Binary StarsMost stars are not single – they occur in binary or multiple systems.binary stars complicate our model of stellar evolutionRemember that mass determines the life path of a star.two stars in a binary system can be close enough to transfer mass from one to the othergaining or losing mass will change the life path of a starFor example, consider the star Algol in the constellation Perseus.Algol is a close, eclipsing binary star consisting of…a main sequence star with mass = 3.7 M & a subgiant with mass = 0.8 Msince they are in a binary, both stars were born at the same timeyet the less massive star, which should have evolved more slowly, is in a more advanced stage of lifeThis apparent contradiction to our model of stellar evolution is known as the Algol Paradox.
37 The Algol Paradox Explained This paradox can be explained by mass exchange.The 0.8 M subgiant star used to be the more massive of the two stars.When the Algol binary formed:it was a 3 M main sequence star…with a 1.5 M main sequence companionAs the 3 M star evolved into a red gianttidal forces began to deform the starthe surface got close enough to the other star so that gravity…pulled matter from it onto the other starAs a result of mass exchange, today…the giant lost 2.2 M and shrunk into a subgiant starthe companion is now a 3.7 M MS star