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Key concepts and summary

In stars with masses higher than about 8 solar masses, nuclear reactions involving carbon, oxygen, and still heavier elements can build up nuclei as heavy as iron. The creation of new chemical elements is called nucleosynthesis. The late stages of evolution occur very quickly. Ultimately, all stars must use up all of their available energy supplies. In the process of dying, most stars eject some matter, enriched in heavy elements, into interstellar space where it can be used to form new stars. Each succeeding generation of stars therefore contains a larger proportion of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This progressive enrichment explains why the stars in open clusters (which formed more recently) contain more heavy elements than do those in ancient globular clusters, and it tells us where most of the atoms on Earth and in our bodies come from.

For further exploration

Articles

Balick, B.&Frank, A. “The Extraordinary Deaths of Ordinary Stars.” Scientific American (July 2004): 50. About planetary nebulae, the last gasps of low-mass stars, and the future of our own Sun.

Djorgovsky, G. “The Dynamic Lives of Globular Clusters.” Sky&Telescope (October 1998): 38. Cluster evolution and blue straggler stars.

Frank, A. “Angry Giants of the Universe.” Astronomy (October 1997): 32. On luminous blue variables like Eta Carinae.

Garlick, M. “The Fate of the Earth.” Sky&Telescope (October 2002): 30. What will happen when our Sun becomes a red giant.

Harris, W.&Webb, J. “Life Inside a Globular Cluster.” Astronomy (July 2014): 18. What would night sky be like there?

Iben, I.&Tutokov, A. “The Lives of the Stars: From Birth to Death and Beyond.” Sky&Telescope (December 1997): 36.

Kaler, J. “The Largest Stars in the Galaxy.” Astronomy (October 1990): 30. On red supergiants.

Kalirai, J. “New Light on Our Sun’s Fate.” Astronomy (February 2014): 44. What will happen to stars like our Sun between the main sequence and the white dwarf stages.

Kwok, S. “What Is the Real Shape of the Ring Nebula?” Sky&Telescope (July 2000): 33. On seeing planetary nebulae from different angles.

Kwok, S. “Stellar Metamorphosis.” Sky&Telescope (October 1998): 30. How planetary nebulae form.

Stahler, S. “The Inner Life of Star Clusters.” Scientific American (March 2013): 44–49. How all stars are born in clusters, but different clusters evolve differently.

Subinsky, R. “All About 47 Tucanae.” Astronomy (September 2014): 66. What we know about this globular cluster and how to see it.

Websites

BBC Page on Giant Stars: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/universe/sights/giant_stars. Includes basic information and links to brief video excerpts.

Encylopedia Brittanica Article on Star Clusters: http://www.britannica.com/topic/star-cluster. Written by astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg-Priestley.

Hubble Image Gallery: Planetary Nebulae: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/nebula/planetary/. Click on each image to go to a page with more information available. (See also a similar gallery at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories: https://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/planetary_nebulae.html).

Questions & Answers

hi, I am yamini, I am in class 8 but very much interested in astronomy and go to NASA, what are the subjects in which I can master and lead to NASA.
yamini Reply
Hello Yamini, Im Ken and I'm avery intrested in joining the NASA too. Is nice to meet you.
Ken
very*
Ken
nice to meet u ken
yamini
What I know about the subjects is that you have to be a master on science and math, also if you know about aviation is better too
Ken
I read that the Russian language is very important, is not a requirement but it's like an extra point!
Ken
yeah like physics, chemistry and maths, they are my most favorite.
yamini
than you can go free of cost
Arush
Yes, That's right!
Ken
how
yamini
Oh! Free of cost?
Ken
hello yamini nice to meet you
Burak
what is time
Abdul Reply
Time is relative
mrunal
pls elaborate
sakshi
the clear defination.I know that.
Abdul
In planet mars there the life exits or not and is there water there
Eshwarsa Reply
see till now nothing can be found as u know that the curiosity rover has struck in mars
Maya
It has been proven that there are water molecules on Mars but not enough that most lifeforms could thrive upon.
Ariana
There are huge amounts of water in the ice caps and under the surface. The surface and chemistry indicate that Mars had cosiderable amounts of water on its surface in the past.
Julius
what is your opinion about the theory of Vedas about modern physics..
Manish Reply
i think in some ways vedas are also correct but not everytime
Maya
I agree
sakshi
hmm even I agree
Samuel
Is there any patened theory about time relativitg in growth and development?
donot Reply
some astronomer's says that there is no alien exist but why search for extra terrestrial intelligence center is established
Eshwarsa Reply
No One Knows That For Absolute Fact, The Universe Is Too Huge To Have Any Type Of Idea About What Exist In The Far Reaches Of Our Universe.....
Adam
Check Out The Drake Equation.....
Adam
their should be aliens as like ours there would be another planet
Maya
which could have existed life on it
Maya
adam i want to ask a question
Maya
can kepler 1st law be applied on all the planets of the universe
Maya
hello, anyone home?
Denise
sjskskfhjkkktewqqw and try?
Lanika Reply
what is this ?
Samuel
hi I am Samuel from India mumbai
Samuel
nice to meet you
Samuel
thats my question, what is this?
penzias and wilson's a discovery of the cosmic microwave background is a nice example of scientific serendipity-something that is found by chance but turns out to have a positive outcome
Jacqueline Reply
how should I make my carrier in astronomy
Ayush Reply
I think that Newton's third law is not appropriate if any also thinks like this please reply me
Ayush
Can you explain your reasoning
Huh
why u think so
joseph
yes Ayush u are right
Yoganshu
I think when we apply force to a object it start moving but , a/c to Newton's third law every action has equal and opposite reaction,so object should also exert equal force on us and it should not move due to balanced force
Ayush
if I am not right then reply me
Ayush
no
Zack
because of friction that opposes that force and help us to move ahead
Manish
but this is not satisfied as third law say another thing
Ayush
you are telling why object moves
Ayush
you have to think a/c to third law
Ayush
its because of its mass
Maya
because it is applying equal and opposite force but also our mass is also less in comparison to the object
Maya
which is why we cant move the object but it can make move us
Maya
manish is too correct in his place because we need to apply force which would overcome the frictional force
Maya
My dear friends, can u plz tell me that among u guys who are in the field of cosmology
Madhav Reply
😢I am not there in cosmology
Samuel
Just A Science Fan.....
Adam
Adam even I am 😥😅😅😂😂
Samuel
I am also not in cosmology but I am just a fan or we can say science and part of NASA is my dream
Yoganshu
yoganshu Arya same here
Samuel
you are from which country
Yoganshu
hi yoganshu
Samuel
India
Samuel
which state
Samuel
I am also from India
Yoganshu
from delhi
Yoganshu
and u...?
Yoganshu
I am from Maharashtra
Samuel
from which state?
Yoganshu
You are a ASTRONOMER ...
Yoganshu
or a scientist..
Yoganshu
or just a member
Yoganshu
What is time...? not about Newton= time is constant..... that all scientists openions n point of view I m knowing. . what can be the Perfect Definition of Time
Madhav Reply
time is what clock reads
Ayush
Who is the best astronomer of India at present time
Gian Reply
Jayant Narlikar, Proponent Of Steady State Cosmology.....
Adam
What is the real colour of sun rays
Gian Reply
white.. so white it becomes violet.. so violet it become ultraviolet
Tom
white and red and yellow
Bianca
Vibgyor
Samuel
the real colour of sunlight is White
Madhav
the Sun's has a variety of waves all throughout the elextromagnetic spectrum.
Jacie
we only see it as a few bc of how some of them get redshifted (? can that term be applied for something so local?) by some particles in our upper atmosphere
Jacie
Vibgyor will be when, the white light will pass through the clouds ( prism ) then Refraction phenomenon leads us to 7 colours splitting from a single colour "White " light
Madhav
so the sun rays r of White colour
Madhav
Taurus in astronomy and horoscope?
Yasser Reply
how to put E=MC2
Gospel Reply
What Do You Mean By How To Put?
Adam
What Do You Mean By How To Put?
Adam
What Do You Mean By "How To Put E=MC2?
Adam
yep
Gospel
Hi guys
Samuel
i mean how NASA came to know the mass and diameters of Stars.how?
Gospel
how did they do using E=MC2
Gospel
thats my questioning
Gospel
that's easy formula's derivation
Madhav

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Source:  OpenStax, Astronomy. OpenStax CNX. Apr 12, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11992/1.13
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