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Chapter 10 The Deaths of Stars.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 10 The Deaths of Stars."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 10 The Deaths of Stars

2 Less massive stars will die in a less dramatic event, called a nova
The End of a Star’s Life When all the nuclear fuel in a star is used up, gravity will win over pressure and the star will die. High-mass stars will die first, in a gigantic explosion, called a supernova. Less massive stars will die in a less dramatic event, called a nova

3 Evolution off the Main Sequence: Expansion into a Red Giant
Hydrogen in the core completely converted into He:  “Hydrogen burning” (i.e. fusion of H into He) ceases in the core. H burning continues in a shell around the core. He core + H-burning shell produce more energy than needed for pressure support Expansion and cooling of the outer layers of the star  red giant

4 Expansion onto the Giant Branch
Expansion and surface cooling during the phase of an inactive He core and a H-burning shell Sun will expand beyond Earth’s orbit!

5 Degenerate Matter Matter in the He core has no energy source left.  Not enough thermal pressure to resist and balance gravity  Matter assumes a new state, called degenerate matter Electron energy The reason that there are two particles in each energy level is one is spin up and one is spin down. Spin ½ fermions can have a state aligned or anti-aligned with the magnetic field. Pressure in degenerate core is due to the fact that electrons can not be packed arbitrarily close together and have small energies.

6 Red Giant Evolution H-burning shell keeps dumping He onto the core.
H-burning shell keeps dumping He onto the core. He core gets denser and hotter until the next stage of nuclear burning can begin in the core: He fusion through the “triple-alpha process”: 4He + 4He  8Be + g 8Be + 4He  12C + g The onset of this process is termed the helium flash

7 Evidence for Stellar Evolution: Star Clusters
Stars in a star cluster all have approximately the same age! More massive stars evolve more quickly than less massive ones. If you put all the stars of a star cluster on a HR diagram, the most massive stars (upper left) will be missing!

8 HR Diagram of a Star Cluster
High-mass stars evolved onto the giant branch Turn-off point Low-mass stars still on the main sequence

9 Estimating the Age of a Cluster
The lower on the MS the turn-off point, the older the cluster.

10 Main Sequence Dwarfs Recall: Stars with less than ~ 0.4 solar masses are completely convective. Mass Red Dwarfs should be changed to Main Sequence Dwarf!  Hydrogen and helium remain well mixed throughout the entire star.  No phase of shell “burning” with expansion to giant. Star not hot enough to ignite He burning.

11 Sunlike Stars  Expansion to red giant during H burning shell phase
Sunlike stars (~ 0.4 – 4 solar masses) develop a helium core. Mass  Expansion to red giant during H burning shell phase  Ignition of He burning in the He core  Formation of a degenerate C,O core

12 White Dwarfs white dwarfs: Mass ~ Msun Temp. ~ 25,000 K
Degenerate stellar remnant (C,O core) Extremely dense: 1 teaspoon of white dwarf material: mass ≈ 16 tons!!! Chunk of white dwarf material the size of a beach ball would outweigh an ocean liner! white dwarfs: Mass ~ Msun Temp. ~ 25,000 K Luminosity ~ 0.01 Lsun Low luminosity because they are so small, Earth size. This is also how come they are so dense.

13 Low luminosity; high temperature => White dwarfs are found in the lower center/left of the H-R diagram.

14 The Chandrasekhar Limit
The more massive a white dwarf, the smaller it is.  Pressure becomes larger, until electron degeneracy pressure can no longer hold up against gravity. WDs with more than ~ 1.4 solar masses can not exist!

15 The more massive the star, the stronger its stellar wind.
Mass Loss from Stars Stars like our sun are constantly losing mass in a stellar wind ( solar wind). The more massive the star, the stronger its stellar wind. Far-infrared WR 124

16 The Final Breaths of Sun-Like Stars: Planetary Nebulae
Remnants of stars with ~ 1 – a few Msun Radii: R ~ light years Expanding at ~10 – 20 km/s ( Doppler shifts) Less than 10,000 years old Have nothing to do with planets! The Helix Nebula

17 The Formation of Planetary Nebulae
Two-stage process: Slow wind from a red giant blows away cool, outer layers of the star M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra Fast wind from hot, inner layers of the star overtakes the slow wind and excites it => planetary nebula

18 Planetary Nebulae Often asymmetric, possibly due to Stellar rotation
Often asymmetric, possibly due to Stellar rotation Magnetic fields Dust disks around the stars The Butterfly Nebula

19 Mass Transfer in Binary Stars
In a binary system, each star controls a finite region of space, bounded by the Roche lobes (or Roche surfaces). Lagrangian points = points of stability, where matter can remain without being pulled toward one of the stars. Matter can flow over from one star to another through the inner lagrange point L1.

20 Recycled Stellar Evolution
Recycled Stellar Evolution Mass transfer in a binary system can significantly alter the stars’ masses and affect their stellar evolution.

21 White Dwarfs in Binary Systems
Binary consisting of white dwarf + main-sequence or red giant star => WD accretes matter from the companion X ray emission Angular momentum conservation => accreted matter forms a disk, called accretion disk. T ~ 106 K Matter in the accretion disk heats up to ~ 1 million K => X ray emission => “X ray binary”.

22 Explosive onset of H fusion
Nova Explosions Hydrogen accreted through the accretion disk accumulates on the surface of the white dwarf Very hot, dense layer of non-fusing hydrogen on the white dwarf surface Nova Cygni 1975 Explosive onset of H fusion Nova explosion

23 Recurrent Novae T Pyxidis In many cases, the mass transfer cycle resumes after a nova explosion.  Cycle of repeating explosions every few years – decades.

24 The Fate of our Sun and the End of Earth
Sun will expand to a red giant in ~ 5 billion years Expands to ~ Earth’s orbit Earth will then be incinerated! Sun may form a planetary nebula (but uncertain) Sun’s C,O core will become a white dwarf


26 The Deaths of Massive Stars: Supernovae
Final stages of fusion in high-mass stars (> 8 Msun), leading to the formation of an iron core, happen extremely rapidly: Si burning lasts only for ~ 1 day. Iron core ultimately collapses, triggering an explosion that destroys the star: Supernova

27 Numerical Simulations of Supernova Explosions
The details of supernova explosions are highly complex and not quite understood yet. When the star collapses and the interior heats up more and more energy goes into neutrinos. As the star becomes more dense and when and if it reaches nuclear densities it suddenly becomes opaque to neutrinos that were previously escaping. This sudden change the neutrinos which were escaping without adding pressure to the star to neutrinos not immediately able to escape and now adding pressure to the star is what blows the star up in a supernova explosion.

28 Remnant of a supernova observed in a.d. 1054
Supernova Remnants X rays The Crab Nebula: Remnant of a supernova observed in a.d. 1054 The Veil Nebula Optical Cassiopeia A The Cygnus Loop

29 Synchrotron Emission and Cosmic-Ray Acceleration
The shocks of supernova remnants accelerate protons and electrons to extremely high, relativistic energies. “cosmic rays” Put in the frequency dependence with v and B and c. In magnetic fields, these relativistic electrons emit synchrotron radiation.

30 The Famous Supernova of 1987: Supernova 1987A
Before At maximum Progenitor was a blue super giant instead of a red super giant. Unusual type II supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud in Feb. 1987

31 The Remnant of Supernova 1987A
Ring due to supernova ejecta catching up with pre-supernova stellar wind; also observable in X rays.

32 Observations of Supernovae
Supernovae can easily be seen in distant galaxies.

33 Type I and II Supernovae
Core collapse of a massive star: type II supernova If an accreting white dwarf exceeds the Chandrasekhar mass limit, it collapses, triggering a type Ia supernova. Type I: No hydrogen lines in the spectrum Type II: Hydrogen lines in the spectrum

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