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Life Cycle of a Star
Stage 1 Protostars
Protostars Huge clouds of gas (hydrogen) in which stars are made. Many thousands of times bigger than our solar system As the clouds collapse stars are born in them
Stage 2 Main sequence star
Main Sequence Star E.g. Our sun Sequence lasts for about 10 billion years Our sun is about half way through its main sequence
Stage 3 Red Giant
As the sun runs out of hydrogen the outer layers of the sun will become cooler They will also expand massively. The Earth (along with Mercury, Venus and Mars) will be swallowed up.
Stage 4 White Dwarf
Gravity will cause the red giant to collapse The sun is now much cooler and it collapses into a small white star It still has the same mass as the original sun!
Stage 5 Black Dwarf
The sun cools more and more Eventually it will become a black mass emitting no light It will then spend the rest of eternity drifting silently through space
Stars bigger than our Sun! At least four times bigger
Stage 4 (for a big star) Red Supergiant
Stage 5 (for a big star) Supernova
Supernova! The largest and most powerful explosions in the universe. The red supergiants literally blow themselves apart!
Supernova All the atoms we are made from came originally from these giant supernova explosions.
Stage 6 (for a big star) Black hole
After the supernova a huge mass is left behind. There is so much mass its gravity prevents even light from leaving it Black holes can suck in nearby stars and solar systems.
Luckily there are no black holes any where near our sun!
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