Presentation on theme: "Ch. 9 – The Lives of Stars from Birth through Middle Age Second part The evolution of stars on the main sequence."— Presentation transcript:
Ch. 9 – The Lives of Stars from Birth through Middle Age Second part The evolution of stars on the main sequence
Stars with Masses between 0.08 and 0.5 times the mass of the Sun have low core temperatures, live a long time, convect helium from the core, so it mixes uniformly, and will end up composed entirely of helium.
A G-Type Star is similar to our Sun. The evolution is shown during an imaginary trek through space. At the end of the red giant stage, the core is small, the envelope huge, and the outcome depends on the total mass of the star.
Evolution of stars with more than 0.4 solar masses
Solar Composition Change During stage 7 hydrogen burning causes a build-up of helium in the star’s core. We will follow the evolution of a star like the Sun, with one solar mass.
Hydrogen Shell Burning occurs around an “ash” core, which is mostly helium, and the temperature is T = 10 million K
The hydrogen shell burning causes higher pressure on the envelope, which causes the star to expand into a Red Giant. The star follows the yellow curve on the H–R diagram. Stage 8 is the “subgiant branch” and the radius is about 3 times the solar radius. An example is the star Arcturus, M = 1.5 M solar and R = 23 R solar, the luminosity is about 100 times solar.
Stage 10 follows the Helium Flash, which is like a huge nuclear explosion of helium “flashing” or burning quickly into carbon at 10 8 K Fusion of 3 He-4 nuclei produces a C-12 nucleus plus other products Then there is the Horizontal Branch
Reascending the Giant Branch occurs in a way similar to the original move up to a giant. Burning in the H and He shells is even faster than before, so the star expands even more on this “asymptotic branch”
Quick introduction: Supernova ! Visible supernovae are uncommon and of great interest to astronomers. They occur when a massive star has burned up most of its “fuel” and suddenly “collapses”. A shock wave is formed which blows off the outer layers of the star. Supernovae in our own galaxy had not been seen since the 1600’s until ………………………… 1987
One dramatic result of stellar evolution: a supernova remnant
A Type II Supernova is a “core collapse” and occurs when the core is finally pure iron, which cannot be fused to other elements. The core collapses to a big ball of neutrons, which causes a shock wave to bounce back outward, which blows off the entire envelope of the red giant, to form a supernova remnant.
Supernova Remnants Vela supernova remnant Other examples: Cassiopeia A (link) (link)link N63A (link)link Crab nebula
M1 – the Crab Nebula is from a supernova seen in year A.D. 1054 The remnant is 1800 pc away and the diameter is currently 2 pc.
Astronomers have been waiting for hundreds of years for a bright, nearby supernova. Finally, one night in 1987… We learn the story of the observation in the movie “Death of a Star” (from the Nova series on PBS)