2 Life Cycle of Stars The path a star takes over its lifetime depends solely on its MASS!!
3 Stellar Nursery NEBULA All stars begin their life in a NEBULA.A NEBULA is a giant cloud of gas and dust.If there is enough matter in the cloud gravity will pull together and FUSION will occur.Fusion is the process of lighter elements (Hydrogen) coming together to form heavier elements (Helium).
4 PROTOSTAR Fusion and gravity create a baby star!! A PROTOSTAR is born! Stars create heat and energy through fusion.
5 AVERAGE STARS (Our SUN) Average stars spend most of their life as boring MAIN SEQUENCE stars.Our Sun is a great example of a MAIN SEQUENCE star in the middle of its life (4.5 billion years old.)
6 Average Stars-The End is Near! As an average, main sequence star gets older and larger, it becomes a RED GIANT.
7 “PUFF”The outer layers of the Red Giant blow off its remaining gas which forms a new Stellar Nebula .
8 WHITE DWARFThe core of the star shrinks down to small very dense WHITE DWARF and continues to burn until all its fuel has run out .
9 BLACK DWARFWhen all the fuel has run out it is a dead star
10 MASSIVE STARSMassive stars are much hotter and brighter than their smaller relatives and are often bluish-whiteThey will also live as a MAIN SEQUENCE star
11 Massive Red GiantEventually, they will make it to the RED SUPERGIANT stage as they age and cool.This is just like a red giant except bigger and hotter. A LOT bigger and hotter.
12 SUPERNOVAAfter the Massive stars “PUFF” out their gas and dust from their farthest outer layer, they….EXPLODE!!!!
13 SUPERNOVA It will light up the skies for weeks or months. A supernova will briefly outshine its own galaxy when it explodes.
14 MASSIVE STARSAfter the massive star goes Supernova it can travel down one of two pathways…eitherA BLACK HOLEOrA NEUTRON STAR!!!
15 NEUTRON STARIn a neutron star, all the leftover matter from the massive star is crushed and condensed down to a core smaller than the Earth.They are extremely dense and have tremendous amounts of gravity.Neutron stars are also known as PULSARS because of the pulses of gamma rays they give off.
16 BLACK HOLEThe largest of the massive stars have so much mass that after a supernova, the leftover material collapses in on itself causing a rip or “hole”. Gravity is so strong not even light can escape!