Announcements Homework 10 due Monday Make your own

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Announcements • Homework 10 due Monday: Make your own H-R diagram!

Announcements • Homework 10 due Monday: Make your own H-R diagram!

Red Giants and White Dwarfs 3 November 2006

Red Giants and White Dwarfs 3 November 2006

Today: • Life cycles of stars • Aging stars: red giants • “Planetary” nebulae

Today: • Life cycles of stars • Aging stars: red giants • “Planetary” nebulae • Spent stars: white dwarfs

Star Formation

Star Formation

Fusion of Hydrogen into Helium 4 1 H (protons) 4 He This reaction powers

Fusion of Hydrogen into Helium 4 1 H (protons) 4 He This reaction powers all main-sequence stars. The more massive the star, the more pressure at its center and therefore the faster the reaction occurs.

Sizes of Main-Sequence Stars Hottest stars are actually somewhat larger Should be white, not

Sizes of Main-Sequence Stars Hottest stars are actually somewhat larger Should be white, not green! Reds are greatly exaggerated!

Main Sequence Lifetimes (predicted) Mass (suns) 25 15 3 1. 5 1. 0 0.

Main Sequence Lifetimes (predicted) Mass (suns) 25 15 3 1. 5 1. 0 0. 75 0. 50 Surface temp (K) 35, 000 30, 000 11, 000 7, 000 6, 000 5, 000 4, 000 Luminosity (suns) 80, 000 10, 000 60 5 1 0. 5 0. 03 Lifetime (years) 3 million 15 million 500 million 3 billion 10 billion 15 billion 200 billion

What happens when the core of a star runs out of hydrogen? • With

What happens when the core of a star runs out of hydrogen? • With no energy source, the core of the star resumes its collapse… • As it collapses, gravitational energy is again converted to thermal energy… • This heat allows fusion to occur in a shell of material surrounding the core… • Due to the higher central temperature, the star’s luminosity is greater than before… • This increased energy production causes the outer part of the star to expand cool (counterintuitive!)… • We now have a very large, cool, luminous star: a “red giant”!

Red giants are big! Mars

Red giants are big! Mars

Fusion of helium into carbon, oxygen 4 He 12 C 4 He 4 He

Fusion of helium into carbon, oxygen 4 He 12 C 4 He 4 He 16 O • 3 He nuclei must merge quickly, since 8 Be is unstable • Requires very high temperatures (100 million K) due to greater electrostatic repulsion • Produces less energy per kg than hydrogen fusion • Can continue in core of a star for about 20% of mainsequence lifetime

Final stages in the life of a low-mass star • Core runs out of

Final stages in the life of a low-mass star • Core runs out of helium, again collapses and heats up • Helium burning continues (quickly) in a thin, hot shell surrounding the core; hydrogen burning continues in a larger shell • Instabilities cause inner temperature to fluctuate, which causes outer layers of star to swell, pulsate • Pulsations eject outer layers into space, gradually expanding into a “planetary nebula” • Eventually, energy production stops and a very dense “dead” star is left behind: a “white dwarf”

“Planetary” Nebulae Slowly expanding shells of gas, ejected by pulsating stars, still heated by

“Planetary” Nebulae Slowly expanding shells of gas, ejected by pulsating stars, still heated by what’s left of the star’s core

More Planetary Nebulae

More Planetary Nebulae

White Dwarf Stars • “Dead” cores of former stars, no longer burning nuclear fuel,

White Dwarf Stars • “Dead” cores of former stars, no longer burning nuclear fuel, radiating away leftover heat • Made mostly of carbon and oxygen nuclei, in a diamond crystal structure (“like a diamond in the sky”) • Crushed to incredible density by their own gravity: the mass of the sun but the size of the earth! (Higher-mass white dwarfs are smaller!) • Sirius B and Procyon B are nearby examples

H-R Diagram Patterns Luminosity = (constant) x (surface area) x (temperature)4 For a given

H-R Diagram Patterns Luminosity = (constant) x (surface area) x (temperature)4 For a given size, hotter implies brighter. A bright, cool star must be unusually large (“red giant”). A faint, hot star must be unusually small (“white dwarf”).