5 Facts about the Life Cycle of Stars in Space
Netgenz - Science | Stars in the reach of our eyes, do not seem to undergo the same transition though. In fact, the stars scattered across the sky evolve over billions of years, starting from the birth of a cloud of gas and dust between the stars, until they die and radiate some of their mass back into the universe. Want to know the process? Read the full description in the article below.
Here are 5 Facts about the Life Cycle of Stars in Space
1. Birth of a star
Birth of a star
The space between the stars is not an empty space without matter. This space contains gas and dust matter known as interstellar matter. Even in some places, the material between the stars is clearly visible when illuminated by the surrounding hot stars.
Star construction comes from the dust and gases that make up the material between the stars. In the process of formation, the force of gravity has an important role. When there is an explosion or ejection of mass by a star, a group of matter between the stars will become more compressed and the outer side will be pulled by the force of gravity. These clouds are increasingly shrinking and compressing. This condition is called condensation. As a result, the pressure in the cloud becomes more and more challenging to shrink.
Cloud condensation is not only present in the parent cloud, but repeatedly returns to a series of smaller clouds, which is called the fragmentation process. This process results in the splitting of a single cloud into several hundred or even several thousand clouds, each of which undergoes gravitational contraction. When the temperature reaches a high enough value, the clouds will glow into a stellar embryo or protostar.
2. Evolution towards the main sequence (pre-main-sequence stars)
Star T Tauri illustration
Protostars after going through the process of fragmentation will continue to experience shrinkage due to the force of gravity. In protostars, the majority of the matter is filled with hydrogen. At a temperature of about 1500 K occurs dissociation or decomposition of hydrogen molecules into atoms.
Protostar evolution was followed by rapid destruction. The time of change from Pre-Special Sequence stars to Special Sequence stars depends on their mass. The greater the mass of the star, the faster the time it takes. If the mass is too small, the protostar will cool down and become a brown dwarf.
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3. Developments on the main sequence
Main Sequence Star Illustration
Quoted by Swinburne University's Center for Astrophysics, protostars contract at the site where nuclear reactions begin. In this condition, the stellar nucleus replaces hydrogen with helium which identifies the birth of a special sequence star. The process of burning hydrogen into helium continues for about 90% of the life of special sequence stars.
When all the hydrogen has burned to helium, energy generation in the star stops, and the core of the star contracts. The star blooms very large and eventually becomes a red giant star.
4. The evolution of medium-mass stars
White Dwarf Star Illustration 2051B
When a star has left its special sequence, its evolution continues to be determined by its mass. Stars of medium size (about 7 times the solar period) reach the stage of a red giant star with enough heat and pressure to cause the helium to coalesce into carbon. After the helium in the tree disappears, the star will lose the majority of its mass. The star tree is naturally cooling and shrinking. The evolution of this star after becoming a white dwarf.
5. The evolution of high-mass stars
Star evolution illustration
Red giant stars more than 7 times the mass of the Sun goes through the same process as medium-mass stars. The outer structure of the star expands into a giant star and creates a red supergiant. At the end of its evolution, this massive star will experience a supernova explosion.
Quoted by NASA, about 75% of the mass of stars ejected into space during a supernova explosion. The remaining tree will collapse and become a neutron star if the remaining mass is about 1.4 to 5 times the mass of the Sun. However, if the remaining mass of matter gets bigger, then it will collapse into a black hole.