Ch. 29 The Stars Stellar Evolution

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1 Ch. 29 The Stars 29.3 Stellar Evolution

2 Basic Structure of Stars Mass effects The more massive a star is, the greater the gravity pressing inward, and the hotter and more dense the star must be inside to balance its own gravity. The temperature inside a star governs the rate of nuclear reactions, which in turn determines the star s energy output its luminosity.

3 Basic Structure of Stars Mass effects gravity squeezing inward outward pressure from heat due to nuclear reactions and compression. This balance, governed by the mass of the star, is called hydrostatic equilibrium, and it must hold for any stable star.

4 Basic Structure of Stars Fusion The density and temperature increase toward the center of a star, where energy is generated by nuclear fusion. On Main Sequence: Hydrogen fuses into Helium Off Main Sequence: stars fuse other elements than H or not at all

5 Stellar Evolution As its nuclear fuel runs out, a star s internal structure and mechanism for producing pressure must change to counteract gravity. The changes a star undergoes during its evolution begin with its formation.

6 Stellar Evolution Star Formation The formation of a star begins with a cloud of interstellar gas and dust, called a nebula (plural, nebulae), which collapses on itself as a result of its own gravity. As the cloud contracts, its rotation forces it into a disk shape with a hot, condensed object at the center, called a protostar.

7 Stellar Evolution Star Formation Friction from gravity continues to increase the temperature of the protostar, until the condensed object reaches the ignition temperature (13 million K) for nuclear reactions and becomes a new star.

8 Stellar Evolution Fusion Begins The first nuclear fusion reaction to ignite in a protostar is always the conversion of hydrogen to helium. the star becomes stable; internal heat produces the pressure that balances gravity. The object is then truly a star.

9 Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun It takes about 10 billion years to convert all of the H in its core into He (main-sequence lifetime) a red giant is the next step in the life cycle of a small mass star

10

11

12

13 Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun Red Giants Only in the core of a star do temps get hot enough to do fusion (only ~10% of total H) a He center and outer layers made of H- dominated gas. Some hydrogen continues to react in a thin layer at the outer edge of the helium core. The energy produced in this layer forces the outer layers of the star to expand and cool.

14 Red Giant- Helium Core Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun

15 Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun Red Giants Low surface gravity; loses gas from its outer layers the core of the star becomes hot enough, at 100 million K, for helium to react and form carbon. Contracts back to a more normal size; stable for a while When the helium is depleted, the star is left with a core made of carbon.

16 Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun The Final Stages A star with the same mass as the Sun never becomes hot enough for carbon to fuse, so its energy production ends. The outer layers expand again and are expelled by pulsations that develop in the outer layers. The shell of gas is called a planetary nebula. In the center, the core of the star becomes exposed as a small, hot object known as a white dwarf made of carbon about the size of Earth.

17 Planetary nebulae

18

19 Life Cycles of Stars Like the Sun Internal pressure in white dwarfs NO nuclear reactions, but the resistance of electrons being squeezed together counteracts gravity mass of the remaining core must be less than about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun Can exist indefinitely; cools and becomes an undetectable black dwarf

20 Life Cycles of Massive Stars massive stars begin the same, with hydrogen being converted to helium much higher on the main sequence star is very luminous and uses up its fuel quickly; m.s. lifetime is short

21 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Super Giant A massive star undergoes many more reaction phases produces many elements in its interior becomes a red giant several times as it expands following the end of each reaction stage.

22 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Super Giant More shells are formed by the fusion of different elements the star expands to a larger size and becomes a supergiant. These stars are the source of heavier elements in the universe.

23 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Supernova Formation Star mass between about 8 and 20 times the Sun s mass (Sun = 1 Solar Mass) core too massive to be supported by electron pressure Fusion of Si into Fe in the core is the last energy-producing reaction that can occur the core of the star violently collapses in on itself Protons and electrons merge to form neutrons, resulting pressure halts the collapse

24 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Supernova Formation A neutron star is a collapsed, dense core of a star that forms quickly while its outer layers are falling inward diameter of about 20 km 1.4 to 3 Solar Masses, contains mostly neutrons 1 teaspoon of a neutron star = 10 6 tons! A pulsar is a spinning neutron star that exhibits a pulsing pattern.

25 Pulsar

26 Double Pulsar-discovered by GBT

27 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Supernova Formation the outer layers of a star collapse into the neutron core pressure causes this mass to explode outward as a supernova, leaving a neutron star. Explosion creates all elements heavier than Fe

28 Life Cycles of Massive Stars Black holes A star must begin with 20+ solar mass too massive to form a neutron star. The core continues to collapse, compacting matter into a smaller volume. A black hole is a small, extremely dense remnant of a star whose gravity is so immense that not even light can escape its gravity field.

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