1 AST 101 Introduction to Astronomy: Stars & Galaxies
2 The H-R Diagram review So far: Stars on Main Sequence (MS) Next: - Pre MS (Star Birth) - Post MS: Giants, Super Giants, White dwarfs
3 Star Birth We start with clouds of cold, interstellar gas: Molecular clouds cold enough to form molecules; T=10-30K Often dusty Collapses under its own gravity
4 Recurring theme: conservation of energy 1. Collapse due to gravity increases the temperature (gravitational energy! thermal energy). If thermal energy can escape via radiation (glowing gas), collapse continues 2. If thermal energy is contained, or more energy is generated due to fusion, collapse is slowed (by thermal pressure)
5 Collapse from Cloud to Protostar First collapse from very large, cold molecular clouds - cloud is turbulent and clumpy Fragments into star-sized masses Temperature increases in each fragment as it continues to collapse
6 Multiple Protostars Can Form From a Single Cloud Starting point: turbulent gas cloud 1.2 ly across and with 50 Msun of gas
7 Dusty, dark molecular cloud regions
8 Clicker Question Protostars start out relatively cool and dark. On the HR diagram, a protostar appears at the: A. Upper left corner B. Upper right corner C. Lower right corner D. Lower left corner
9 Clicker Question Protostars start out relatively cool and dark. On the HR diagram, a protostar appears at the: A. Upper left corner B. Upper right corner C. Lower right corner D. Lower left corner
10 1. Our cloud collapses to form one or more protostars, heating up as it shrinks. 2. Collapse continues, temperature stabilizes as convection circulates energy outwards On HR Diagram, moves slightly left, downwards
11 Collapsing cloud spins up, forms star, disk and jet HST: actual edge-on disk, jet
12 Protostars and Planets
13 Protoplanetary Disks This is where planets are born Formation process takes 50 million years for Sun; compare with 10 billion year lifetime Eventually the disk fragments and dissipates or is blown away
14 3. As core temperatures reach millions K, fusion begins but our protostar is still not completely stable Our protostar is almost a STAR! Collapse slows but does not stop On HR diagram, movement is slightly downward
15 4. With fusion supporting the core, our protostar finally sheds its cocoon of gas and settles on the main sequence Stable Hydrogen! helium in the core Stellar thermostat keeps luminosity and temperature stable for billions of years
16 Clicker Question What is the energy source that heats a contracting protostar? A. Friction of the gas molecules rubbing against each other B. Pressure, as the gas and dust are compressed C. Gravitational energy that is released as the cloud compresses D. Fusion
17 Clicker Question What is the energy source that heats a contracting protostar? A. Friction of the gas molecules rubbing against each other B. Pressure, as the gas and dust are compressed C. Gravitational energy that is released as the cloud compresses D. Fusion
18 Starbirth and Color O For every massive O-star that is born, there are ~200 low-mass M-stars also born! -Most stars in the galaxy are lowmass, main sequence stars G M
19 Star forming regions- NEBULAE = CLOUDY
20 Note: hot new blue main sequence stars Pink hydrogen gas Black sooty dust Blue nebulae are reflections of starlight from massive blue stars (blue light reflects more easily than red- this is also why our sky is blue)
21 Eagle Nebula: cold dark clouds are eroded by intense starlight
23 Molecules Observed in Radio Light: We Can See Through the Dust! Carbon Monoxide Doppler Shifts show motion
24 What Happens If the Cloud Collapses but Never Gets Hot Enough for Fusion? Brown Dwarfs Objects that never quite made it to stardom
25 Failed Stars: Brown Dwarfs If masses are smaller then 0.08 solar masses (80 Jupiters), core collapse stopped by degeneracy pressure Temperatures in the core are still not enough for fusion Balls of warm hydrogen -> cool and faint Gliese 229B; brown dwarf in orbit around a star Hubble Space Telescope
26 How Big Can Stars Get? As stars start to collapse, their winds blow off their outer layers If they are too massive, they will blow themselves apart Theoretical limit of ~150 MSun Eta Carina Hubble Space Telescope
27 The H-R Diagram review So far: - Stars on Main Sequence (MS) - Pre MS (Star Birth) Next: - Post MS: Giants, Super Giants, White dwarfs
28 Evolution of Low Mass Stars (less than ~2 x Sun s mass) Protostars! Main sequence Most of its life on Main sequence (billions of years) What happens when it runs out of hydrogen?
29 When The Core Runs Out Of Hydrogen, All That is Left in the Center is Helium But the temperature is not hot enough to fuse helium. With fusion no longer occurring in the core, gravity causes core collapse " key theme Core temperature starts to heat up Now Hydrogen fusion has moved to shells surrounding the core Pushes outer layers of the star out. RED GIANT
30 Red Giants As core collapses, hydrogen SHELL burns faster and faster more energy created Luminosity increases, lifts outer parts of star Star becomes brighter, larger and cooler!! All the while, the core is continuing to shrink and is heating up.
31 What happens to the Earth? Red giants have sizes up to 100 x the Sun s radius, 1000 times the luminosity Sun will swallow Mercury, Venus EARTH!!! In 5-7 billion years, we will be toast.
32 Putting Doom into Perspective 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs died Present-day mammals (like us) evolved from small rodents alive at that time In the next 5 billion years, we have about 80 equal sized time intervals - enough time to re-evolve over and over again if necessary
33 Eventually, The Core Is Hot Enough To Burn Helium At Temp >10 8 K helium flash occurs and helium ignites. Hydrostatic equilibrium has been restored and the core is now balanced again happily burning helium to carbon as a Horizontal Branch Star
34 Electron Degeneracy Pressure Causes The Helium Flash Typical Conditions: Temperature rise of gas corresponds to pressure rise (SOLAR THERMOSTAT) As pressure goes up, gas expands and temperature drops back down. Nuclear fusion is kept at a constant rate Degenerate conditions (extremely high pressures): As temperature rises pressure does not change. No expansion, no cooling, no stabilization RUNAWAY FUSION» (lasts for only a few hours)
35 Summary: When a Low-Mass Star runs out of Hydrogen in its Core 1. With fusion no longer occurring in the core, gravity causes core collapse 2. Hydrogen shell starts fusion, lifting outer layers. Red Giant increases luminosity. 3. Under degenerate conditions, core becomes hot enough to fuse Helium: Helium Flash 4. Outer layers fall and heat, luminosity decreases. Helium burns stably: Horizontal Branch Star
36 Clicker Question What kind of pressure opposes the inward pull of gravity during most of a star s life: A. Thermal pressure. B. Barometric pressure. C. Degeneracy pressure. D. Sound wave pressure.
37 Clicker Question What kind of pressure opposes the inward pull of gravity during most of a star s life: A. Thermal pressure. B. Barometric pressure. C. Degeneracy pressure. D. Sound wave pressure.
38 Clicker Question A star moves upwards and to the right on the HR diagram. What is probably happening in the core? A. The core has just started to burn a new element B. All nuclear burning is slowing down C. The inner core temperature is cooling D. The inner core is collapsing and heating up; shell burning is increasing
39 Clicker Question A star moves upwards and to the right on the HR diagram. What is probably happening in the core? A. The core has just started to burn a new element B. All nuclear burning is slowing down C. The inner core temperature is cooling D. The inner core is collapsing and heating up; shell burning is increasing
The H-R Diagram review So far: AST 101 Introduction to Astronomy: Stars & Galaxies - Stars on Main Sequence (MS) - Pre MS (Star Birth) Next: - Post MS: Giants, Super Giants, White dwarfs Evolution of Low
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1 Announcements TA feedback forms are online! find the link at the class website. Please take 5 minutes to tell your TAs your opinion. In case you did not notice, the Final is set for 03/21 from 12:00-3:00
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