Wondering does a star really has an end? Factually yes! The clocks are already ticking for our very own star, the Sun, which in the next few billion years, is expected to blow up its outer layers, before turning into a tiny white dwarf. It will eventually come to an end by slowly shedding all its content into an invisible matter floating around in space.

What drains out the life from a star?

A star is about to die when all its hydrogen stocks get used up! Other times when the reserves are enough, these hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium, a chemical reaction visible in the form of a large amount of heat energy being expelled from the surface, making the star twinkle.

The way a star dies depends largely on how huge or small the star is. The stars with a mass equivalent to our Sun initially get exhausted of all the hydrogen fuel.

This brings the star to the end of its life. At this stage, the star makes one last attempt to sustain, by fusing all its helium with carbon. Later, this carbon combines with oxygen.

All these chemical reactions result in the expansion of the outer layer of the star, turning it into a Red Giant!

Photo by Pauline Moss on Deviantart.com

Once the star turns into a red giant, it attempts one last chemical reaction, and that’s it, the countdown begins! No helium left, the outer layer of the star gets puffed off in the form of a shell of gas and dust called a planetary nebula, leaving behind a dense small-sized star called a white dwarf.

The white dwarf can be declared as a dead star. There is no fusion reaction happening inside, and this white dwarf gets converted into a black dwarf, slowly fading away into an invisible matter. The whole process beginning with the exhaustion of the hydrogen fuel to turning into a black dwarf takes around billion years to complete.

What about Stars that are massive in size?

The stars with huge masses have an entirely different story than the ones which are average in size. These massive stars end their lives much in a similar fashion as the average sized-star. All the hydrogen fuel gets used up very quickly turning them into red supergiants.

Photo by CTA.UK

The outer layer of these supergiant balls explodes into huge shells of violent gases called Supernova, or exploding star, whereas the inner layer collapse inwards squeezing the huge amount of matter into a tiny space. This compressed matter then turns into a neutron star, or give birth to a Black hole, if the star is huge in size.

It is believed that the powerful waves arising out of the Supernova can trigger the formation of new stars and planets.


REFERENCES:

https://science.howstuffworks.com/star6.htm

https://www.esa.int/kids/en/learn/Our_Universe/Stars_and_galaxies/Star_death

2 thoughts on “What happens when a Star dies?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.