advanced Stars

A star is a round of gas held together through its own gravity. Theclosest star to earth is our an extremely own Sun, so we have an example nearbythat astronomers can study in detail. The lessons us learn about theSun have the right to be used to other stars.

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Diagram reflecting the lifecycles the Sun-likeand massive stars. Click picture for bigger version. (Credit: NASA andthe Night skies Network)


throughout most a star"s lifetime, the internal heat and radiation is providedby nuclear reactions in the star"s core. This step of the star"s life is dubbed the main sequence.

Before a star reaches the key sequence, the star is contracting and its main point is no yet warm or dense enough to begin nuclear reactions. So, until it get the main sequence, hydrostatic assistance is detailed by the heat created from the contraction.

At part point, the star will certainly run out of material in its main point for those atom reactions. Once the star runs the end of atom fuel, it concerns the end of that is time ~ above the main sequence. If the star is big enough, it have the right to go through a series of less-efficient atom reactions to create internal heat. However, at some point these reactions will no much longer generate adequate heat to support the star agains its own gravity and the star will certainly collapse.

Stellar Evolution

A star is born, lives, and also dies, lot like every little thing else in nature. Using monitorings of stars in every phases of their lives, astronomershave built a lifecycle the all stars show up to walk through. Thefate and life the a star depends generally on it"s mass.


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Hubble image of the Eagle Nebula, astellar nursery. (Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble heritage Team)


All stars start their stays from the please of material in a giantmolecular cloud. These clouds are clouds that kind between the stars andconsist generally of molecule gas and dust. Disturbance within the cloudcauses knots to type which can then fallen under it"s owngravitational attraction. As the node collapses, the material at thecenter begins to warmth up. That hot core is referred to as a protostar and also willeventually end up being a star.

The cloud doesn"t collapse right into just one big star, yet differentknots of product will each become it"s own protostar. This is why theseclouds of material are often dubbed stellar nuseries – lock areplaces where numerous stars form.

As the protostar benefit mass, its main point gets name is and more dense. Atsome point, it will be warm enough and dense enough for hydrogen to startfusing right into helium. It demands to be 15 million Kelvin in the main point forfusion come begin. As soon as the protostar start fusing hydrogen, that entersthe "main sequence" step of the life.

Stars top top the main sequence room those that are fusing hydrogen intohelium in your cores. The radiation and also heat native this reaction keepthe force of heaviness from collapsing the star during this phase of thestar"s life. This is additionally the longest step of a star"s life. Our sunwill spend around 10 billion year on the main sequence. However, a moremassive star uses its fuel faster, and may only be ~ above the main sequencefor countless years.

Eventually the main point of the star runs out of hydrogen. Once thathappens, the star have the right to no longer organize up versus gravity. The innerlayers start to collapse, i m sorry squishes the core, increasing thepressure and temperature in the core of the star. When the corecollapses, the outer layers of product in the star to increase outward.The star broadens to larger than that has ever before been – a few hundredtimes bigger! at this allude the star is dubbed a red giant.

What happens next depends on how the fixed of the star.

The Fate of Medium-Sized Stars


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Hubble image of planetary nebula IC418,also recognized as the Spirograph Nebula. (Credit: NASA/Hubble HeritageTeam)


When a medium-sized star (up to around 7 times the fixed of the Sun)reaches the red giant phase of its life, the core will have enough heatand push to reason helium come fuse right into carbon, providing the core abrief reprieve indigenous its collapse.

Once the helium in the main point is gone, the star will melted most the itsmass, developing a cloud the material referred to as a planetary nebula. The core ofthe star will certainly cool and also shrink, leaving behind a small, hot ball dubbed awhite dwarf. A white dwarf doesn"t collapse versus gravity since ofthe press of electrons repelling each other in that is core.

The Fate of massive Stars


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Chandra X-ray photo of supernova remnantCassiopeia A. The colors show various wavelengths of X-rays beingemitted through the matter that has been ejected indigenous the main star.In the center is a neutron star. (Credit: NASA/CSC/SAO)


A red giant star with an ext than 7 times the fixed of the sunlight is fatedfor a much more spectacular ending.

These high-mass stars go through some of the same actions as themedium-mass stars. First, the outer layers swollen out into a huge star,but also bigger, forming a red supergiant. Next, the core starts toshrink, becoming really hot and dense. Then, combination of helium into carbonbegins in the core. When the it is provided of helium operation out, the main point willcontract again, but because the main point has an ext mass, that will come to be hot anddense sufficient to fuse carbon into neon. In fact, when the supply ofcarbon is offered up, other combination reactions occur, till the main point isfilled v iron atoms.

Up to this point, the blend reactions placed out energy, permitting thestar come fight gravity. However, fusing iron calls for an intake of energy,rather than creating excess energy. Through a core complete of iron, the starwill lose the fight versus gravity.

The main point temperature rises to end 100 billion degrees as the ironatoms room crushed together. The repulsive force in between thepositively-charged nuclei overcomes the pressure of gravity, and the corerecoils the end from the heart of the star in an explosive shock wave. Inone of the most spectacular events in the Universe, the shock propelsthe material away native the star in a tremendous explosion called asupernova. The material spews off right into interstellar space.

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About 75% that the mass of the star is ejected into room in thesupernova. The fate that the left-over core counts on its mass. If theleft-over core is about 1.4 to 5 times the massive of ours Sun, that willcollapse into a neutron star. If the main point is larger, it will certainly collapseinto a black color hole. To turn into a ghost star, a star must start withabout 7 to 20 time the massive of the Sun prior to the supernova. Just starswith an ext than 20 times the fixed of the sun will end up being black holes.