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How Stars are Formed, and Some Other Questions

Writing EO7

15 April 2018

Table of Content
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Table of Contents page 2

Outline page 3

Introduction page 3

How Are Stars Formed? page 4

How Do Stars Die Out? page 5

Supernovas page 6

The Big Bang page 8

Conclucion page 9

Works Cited page 10


I. Stars

A. How Stars Are Formed

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B. How Stars Die Out

C. Supernovas, and What They Are

D. The Big Bang, and Why Stars Are Important


In the author’s opinion, stars are a very interesting topic, and by the time you’re

done reading this, she hopes you think the same. They are very amusing and

fascinating. I am going to research how are they formed, how they die out, how are they
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found, and some other questions that you will read about in this book. I can even

recognize some stars and constellations myself. The constellations I recognize are Ursa

Major (which is the most recognizable constellation) and Gemini. The stars I recognize

are Messier 46 and sometimes wezen. In my opinion, Messier 46 is really recognizable

star in the sky. It’s because it is very bright and shiny; it also shimmers very oftenly. I

can just look up in the sky and think “oh, that’s Messier 46” but that’s because of how

different it is from the other stars.

How Are Stars Formed?

The first question I’m going to

research is, you guessed it, how are

stars formed. It all begins

microscopic, like many things in the

universe. They are just mere

particles of dust and gas. Over time,

gravity drags the gas and other

particles closer and closer together.

It becomes heavier. While they grow

together, unlike already existing

stars, they remain cold for ages.

Then, everything begins to stir up and becomes faster and faster. Particles

collide and begin to form clumps. All clumps individually attain more mass and therefore

a stronger gravitational pull, attracting even more particles from the surrounding cloud.

As more particles pull in the cloud, the center becomes hotter and hotter. Over the
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course of a million years, the clouds and clumps form a small body called a protostar.

Then it continues to attract even more gas and grows bigger and hotter. Next, “when the

protostar becomes hot enough (7 million kelvins), its hydrogen atoms begin to fuse,

producing helium and an outflow of energy in the process” (According to NASA and

Robert Lamb). That type of reaction is called a nuclear fusion.

Though, the outward push of it’s fusion energy is weaker than the inward pull of

gravity. If you did not understand, think of it that way: it’s like a struggling business that

costs more to operate than it makes. Gas and particles continue to flow in the protostar.

Then, after millions of years some of these struggling stars reach the tipping point. If

enough mass (0.1 solar mass) collapses into the protostar, a bipolar flow occurs. Two

massive gas jets erupt from the protstar and blast the remaining gas and dust clear

away from its surface. At that point, a young star now stabilizes and the output exceeds

the intake. The outward pressure from the fusion now counteracts gravity's inward pull.

It is now a star and will be a star until it burns out.

How Do Stars Die Out?

The lifespan of a star depends

on its mass. For example, a “star the

size of our sun takes about 50 million

years to reach its mass and

temperature” (ESA), and then, according

to NASA, it could live on for more than 10 billion years! Can you believe that? However,

the larger the star the quicker it burns out. At first, a star burns out all of its hydrogen

fuel, it expands and becomes really red and big. Then the star falls apart, layer by layer.
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The layers can make a big surface of clouds and dust surrounding it. According to the

European Space Agency, hat is enough to consume Venus and Mercury! Then, as you

can see in stage 3, it becomes a planetary nebula. Soon after that, the star falls apart

and forms a dense white dwarf. The

dwarf is really heavy, and once again,

according to the European Space

Agency, one teaspoon of the material

from the white dwarf could weigh up to a

1000 tonnes! After billions and billions of

years, it becomes colder and later becomes invisible.

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What is a supernova?

A supernova Now you are

going to read about 2 types

of supernovas: Type I and

Type II. Type I supernova

occurs when a white dwarf

pulls a huge amount of

material from a nearby star.

It results in the dwarf getting

way too heated and then it explodes. Type II supernova occurs when a star at least 8

times the mass of the sun explodes. After that, it spreads the material that stars are

made out of.

Supernovae can be up to 10,000 the mass of the sun. Supernovae are

very important because, as I said, when they explode, they spread the material that

stars are made out of across the Milky Way. Supernovae create all the heaviest

elements of the universe. The Earth itself is created from the elements Supernovae

provided, so technically we wouldn’t be alive without Supernovae.

The Big Bang, and Why Stars Are Important.

The Big Bang, as many scientists say, was the beginning of the universe.

Nothing existed before the big bang. According to astronomers, the big bang happened

about 14 billion years ago! Can you believe that? Anyways, 14 billion years ago, the

whole universe was just a small bubble, that was denser and hotter than anything we
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could possibly imagine. Then, it all exploded. At that point, the surrounding temperature

was about 5.5 billion degrees celsius (10 billion degrees fahrenheit). The universe

contained a vast array of fundamental particles such as neutrons, electrons and

protons. They combined as the universe got cooler. It would’ve been impossible to look

at the universe at that time, because light could not carry inside it. "The free electrons

would have caused light (photons) to scatter the way sunlight scatters from the water

droplets in clouds," NASA stated. After about 380,000 years, “the free electrons met up
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with nuclei and created neutral atoms” (Howell), and that allowed light to shine through.

This early light is usually referred to as “afterglow” or “cosmic microwave”. It was first

predicted by scientists in 1948, but 20 years later it was found almost by accident. Stars

are important because they gave us literally almost everything. Without stars we

wouldn’t have been alive. Stars created all the heavy elements, like iron, calcium, etc.

Stars are the reason planets exist. In fact, without stars, nothing would’ve existed.

Without our star, the sun, planet earth and any planet in our solar system wouldn’t have
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existed. Without

stars, the universe

would consist just of

floating hydrogen.

Life would be

impossible. Planets

would be

impossible. The only

thing that would’ve

been possible is just

large clouds of

hydrogen. Stars are the reason for many, many things.

We ourselves are made out of stardust. Literally every molecule in a body was

once in a star. That is pretty amazing, don’t you think? A molecule from your right eye

can come from a completely different in your left eye.

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In conclusion, the author would like to say that stars are pretty much the

reason to everything, and all the stars have a reason. The author really hopes that you

enjoyed reading this and were at least a little bit entertained and amused by stars. Stars

ARE a very interesting thing, don’t you think?

Works Cited

“Star Death”. European Space Agency. n.p. n.d. Web. 10 May. 2018.

Craig, Freudenrich. “How Stars Work”. How Stuff Works. n.p. n.d. Web. May 3, 2018.

Kennedy, Gregory. Apollo to the Moon. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997.


Scoles, Sarah. “Death and Dark Matter” Discover, Target: Earth.

Hawking, Stephen. “Into a Black Hole”. Stephen Hawking. n.p. n.d. Web. May 3, 2018.

Failed Stars: “Brown Dwarfs.” Planets, Stars, and Galaxies. 2007. Print.

Campbell, Heather. ”Why Are Supernovae Important”. n.p. November 11, 2014. Web.

May 23, 2018.

“The Big Bang”. European Space Agency . n.p n.d. Web. 23 May, 2018.

Howell, Elizabeth. “What Is The Big Bang Theory?”. November 7, 2017.

Web. 23 May, 2018.