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Star Life Cycle

  1. star-warrior
    We're made of elements like hydrogen, carbon, iron etc, all of which probably came from the remnants of long gone stellar explosions as stars explode in super nova type events expelling the heavy elements which accumulated over aeons of nuclear fusion from hydrogen. Someday our Sun will explode. Here's a video of stellar evolution or the life cycle of stars.

  2. AsianDream
    For those interested - a bit more detail:

    hydrogen and helium were the only elements present in the early universe – 75% and 25% by mass respectively. The main reaction which fuels stars is the fusion of hydrogen to form helium. This continues until the core of the star has a large proportion of helium – at which stage the temperature gets high enough to start the fusion of helium into carbon.

    This change is what initiates the “Red Giant" stage of main sequence stars. For an average sized star this is as far as the process goes – however for large stars (which have a much shorter life) the process continues to heavier elements up to iron. To form any element heavier than iron the fusion reaction needs more energy than in releases.

    Once the stars inner core consists of iron and this starts fusion then energy is absorbed – the star partially collapses but the kinetic energy of this causes extreem temperatures and the star explodes in a super-nova. It is only during this explosion that all elements heavier than iron are formed.

    This is why heavy elements (like uranium) give of energy when the atom splits (fission) while light elements (like hydrogen) give of energy when atoms join together (fusion).
  3. JockBoy87
    The Sun unfortunately will not go out in a bang. It's not heavy enough

    When it's done fusing, it will just shed layers until it becomes a white dwarf.

    Actually, supernovae are rather uncommon. Only about 3% of stars go out in a bang.
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