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How a Star is Born

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Cosmic Nurseries - Mommy, Where do Stars Come From?

Since my entire thesis for this paper is about how a star is born, I guess the first thing I should start out with is by telling you exactly what a star is. Stars are self-luminous gaseous spheres. They shine by generating their own energy and radiating it off into space. The stars' fuel for energy generation is the stuff they are made of --hydrogen, helium, carbon, etc. -- which they burn by converting these elements into heavier elements. Nuclear fusion occurs, which is when the nuclei of atoms fuse into nuclei of heavier atoms.

The energy given off by a star through nuclear burning heatsits interior to many millions and, even in some cases to Pleiades Star Cluster hundreds of millions to billions of degrees Fahrenheit. It causes heat to flow from the interior toward the surface, where it is released out into space and makes the star shine. Because stars are only so big, they will eventually use up their nuclear fuel and run out of energy. (University of Oregon, Unknown)

The first step in making new stars is to compress a cloud in order to strengthen gravity's effect so that the cloud material can contract and break-up into smaller units that eventually collapse to form stars. The clouds in the inter-stellar space are called Inter-stellar Medium, which are mainly made up Rho Ophiuchi of hydrogen and helium. The cloud itself is very cold, somewhere around a hundred degrees Kelvin, which is far below -150ºC. All particles in the cloud attract each other by gravitational force. According to calculations of scientists, a cloud having the mass comparable to the mass of our Sun will be able to hold itself together due to the gravity pushing against it. As traveling compression waves move past a cool molecular cloud, it compresses the cloud, driving the particles closer together. If the compressed cloud has no way to stop the contraction, it’ll continue to collapse and raise the gas pressure sufficiently to resist further contraction. Supernova 1994D Another possible explanation for the contraction that is occurring at this time is due to shockwaves from surround supernovas. (Kippenhahn, 1994).

At this point the contracted interstellar clouds are called Bok globules. Globules are usually a few light years in size and they are made up of hydrogen and dust. “At...

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... even possibly begin to imagine. The hydrogen inside the star is converted into helium by the means of nuclear fusion. Stars that start their lives with masses less than about eight solar masses stop their nuclear burning trip with helium burning at the core. Stars that start their lives with masses greater than about Model of Star’s internal process eight solar masses continue their nuclear burning and go on to produce such products as neon, magnesium, silicon, and sulfur. Eventually, silicon and sulfur ignite in the star's core to form iron and nickel. (Hansen, 1994)
Various info about star at mature stage

In conclusion, before I wrote this paper I would have to say that even though every night when I happen to glance upwards I see a whole bunch of stars, I never even had the slightest idea of where they came from until now. Stars come from these cosmic nurseries that scientists and astronomers refer to as nebulas in one of the oddest ways imaginable. I learned quite a bit about where stars come from and I hope to continue to learn even more about stars in the not so distant future.
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