The Process of The Life Cycle of A Star Essay

The Process of The Life Cycle of A Star Essay

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Professor Lawrence Krauss claims that, “In our galaxy, there are over 100 billion stars alone.” (“Extreme”). Each one of those stars is a factory which slowly builds the materials for the foundations of the universe (“Stars”). Stars are as varied as people. While they are all born the same way, they do not all die the same way. Some stars live fast and die young; others die slowly and quietly (“Extreme”). The life cycle of a star is violent, they churn, pulsate, and sometimes explode, but the products of its life are invaluable building blocks for the Universe. There is a process to the life cycle of a star.
The birth of a star is a process completely fueled by gravity (“Life”). All stars are born in something called a nebula, which is essentially just a cloud of gas and dust. Dr. Michelle Thaller, stated on the documentary How The Universe Works, “All you need to make a star is hydrogen, gravity, and time.” The clouds of gas and dust start to churn rapidly, causing clumps of matter to form. Once the correct mass is reached, they condense under their own gravitational pull and heat up. This clump of matter is known as a protostar (“Stars”). As time progresses, the cloud thickens and starts to spin, a stage that can take hundreds of thousands of years. Gravity will then start to crush the matter into a very hot and dense sphere. Eventually, the pressure that gravity applies upon the sphere causes jets of hot gas to extend out into space. This pressure also causes the star to consume more gas and matter, which only accelerates the heat up process. At the temperature of fifteen million degrees, atoms of gas fuse together, releasing energy, and activating the star (“Extreme”). However, this is not always the case. If a clump of ma...


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"The Life and Death of Stars." National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 16 Apr. 2010. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. .
Redd, Nola T. "Main Sequence Stars: Definition & Life Cycle." Space.com. TechMedia Network. 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .
"Star (astronomy)." Encyclopedia Britannica. 5 May 2013. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. .
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Thompson, Andrea. "What Is a Supernova?" Space.com. TechMedia Network. 4 May 2010. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .

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