The Life of A Star

What are stars? Tiny blinking lights that you can only see at night? Your eyes are tricking you? Things that orbit a person's head when they get hit really hard in cartoons? Well how about burning balls of gas light years away? Yeah I am pretty sure it’s that last one. Today we will be taking an amazing journey to learn about the birth, life, and death of a star.


We will start our journey in a nebula, a nebula is a huge cloud of gas and dust floating in space and they are the birthplace of stars. The birth of a star begins when parts of the nebula begin to swirl until it all comes together rubbing to make heat. Once all of the gas and dust heats to a very hot temperature it all turns into a baby star, also known as a protostar, which can have a central temperature up to 15 million degrees centigrade. A protostar is the hottest star possible and is the color blue. Leftover parts of the gas and dust if there is any start clumping together to later make planets and the star begins to combine hydrogen atoms to turns them into helium.


Somewhere between millions to billions of years later there is no more hydrogen to burn, and the star is now a yellow or orange color and cooler but is still very hot. The star begins to grow bigger until it becomes a red giant which is even cooler but still hot. Now the star is cool enough it begins to combine the helium to turn it into carbon and continues to grow bigger.


Once all of the helium runs out. The outer shell of the star explodes, releasing tons of gas, the core of the star collapses on itself and depending on the size of the core it becomes a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole. All of the gas that was released becomes a new nebula and the whole cycle repeats over again.


An entire star's life happens over billions of years. Just the making of one takes millions! I hope you learned something new as we learned about the birth, life, and death of a star. Stars are definitely not a trick of your eyes or things that orbit a cartoon's head. They are a sight to behold and I hope you enjoyed learning about them as much as I did.


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