Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People by Neil Shubin Reviewed by Maria Stadtmueller | Released: January 5, 2013 Publisher: Pantheon (240 pages)




“Neil Shubin is the kind of guy you’d like to meet at a cocktail party: smart, funny, a good storyteller . . . It’s unfortunate that Dr. Shubin . . . has ignored the starkly challenging era we live in.”
Paleontologist Neil Shubin is the kind of guy you’d like to meet at a cocktail party: smart, funny, a good storyteller who can drop your jaw with scientific insights on how that jaw developed thanks to obscure creatures from other eons.
Author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish, Dr. Shubin doesn’t merely explain science with clarity and humor; he unearths some of those connections in his own fieldwork.
In The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People Dr. Shubin relates how cosmic and chemical forces of the universe's 13.7 billion-year evolution shaped our bodies and the Earth we inhabit.
Although probably the best fit for readers with a basic interest in science, Dr. Shubin’s book includes both landmark and late-breaking research. Written during simpler times, it would have been enjoyably informative; however, the gap between what the author does with his extensive knowledge, and what he could have done to serve his readers, is extremely frustrating. More about that later.
The Universe Within is as much about the people who moved science forward in discovering evolution's cosmic links as it is about their ideas.
Not all of them were professional scientists: There were bored civil servants, a tea shop owner, and many women—the earliest of whom were denied a scientific education. For example, astronomy research accelerated thanks to the late 19th century’s “Harvard Computers”—women (including the housekeeper of the Harvard College Observatory’s director)—who caught pivotal astronomical changes while laboriously cataloguing photographic plates of stars and nebulae in that pre-computer age.
Dr. Shubin credits these innovators while offerering a colorful backstage tour of the mental and physical rigors of scientific discovery. The “aha!” moments come at a price—years of hard, grinding work, wrong turns, frozen feet, and, often, dismissal by one’s peers.
Also compelling is Dr. Shubin’s detailed yet conversational style as he unrolls the story of the Big Bang and its evolutionary course. While it’s familiar territory to many, modern humans need to hear this story until our intimate connections with other species sink in.
Unfortunately, throughout his book, Dr. Shubin misses opportunities to make those connections.
Literally, the book delivers what it promises—a common history—but is this enough when the species reading this book is threatening any common future? For example, Dr. Shubin cursorily mentions previous major extinctions that have rocked the Earth’s life systems in the wake of asteroids, climate change, and plate tectonics. “There are five intervals where the numbers of species just crash,” he says.
But he neglects to mention that Earth is now suffering the sixth major extinction, the only one caused by a species (guess who?), in which other species are being snuffed out at 1,000 times the usual rate.
Dr. Shubin devotes about 50 pages to catastrophe theory and to the mechanics of Earth’s earlier climate fluctuations. He describes possible causes for these shifts: tilts in planetary orbit, ocean current changes, or the rising of the Tibetan Plateau and subsequent increased rock weathering. Toward the section’s conclusion, he notes:
“The emerging picture is that Earth’s climate depends on the heat balance on the planet—the amount of heat coming in from the sun minus the heat escaping into space—and the ways that this heat is transferred among the oceans, land, air, and ice.”
Wouldn’t this be the author’s cue to discuss the human disruption of that balance? Unfortunately, it goes unmentioned—even though the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima bomb explosions add more heat to that imbalance every day.
Dr. Shubin’s “amount of heat coming in from the sun” doesn’t explain the whole picture, since this gain has occurred during an extreme solar minimum. That same information has driven NASA climate scientist James Hansen (whose figures these are) to protest and get arrested in front of the White House. Instead, Dr. Shubin follows with: “Music is an analogy for what drives climate . . .” with its “long-term rhythm and short-term riffs.”
That discussion ends with his introduction to how some humans survived the abrupt climatic shift 12,500 years ago, sounding more like the CEO of Exxon Mobil responding to climate critics with “we’ll adapt” than a leading scientist. The author ignores Earth's current challenges often enough to be utterly maddening.
What accounts for this blind eye? Although slim, The Universe Within includes detailed descriptions of colleagues’ messy offices, academic politics, and the small towns where big scientists grew up. Is Dr. Shubin reluctant to step from the data to the larger picture—to meaning?
Scientists have traditionally shied from making meaning out of their work, likely a remnant from historic efforts to emancipate science from Church interference. However, that barricade has long been breached, by no less than Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, biologists E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins, mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme, and fellow paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
The Universe Within concludes with an upbeat “With virtually every technology and idea, our species has found new ways to insulate ourselves from the planet . . . it has been eleven thousand years since the dawn of our civilization. With the ever-increasing pace of change around us, imagine what humans will be capable of in another eleven thousand.”
Really?
Recent newspaper headlines show how well people in the Great Plains and the East Coast of the U.S. have been able to insulate themselves from the planet—if in fact that’s a desirable response.
Dr. Shubin’s avatar for the techno-fix is equally problematic: plant biologist Norman Borlaug, who won the Nobel Prize for his role in the late 20th century Green Revolution, which Dr. Shubin credits as “bettering or saving the lives of millions of people around the world.”
What he doesn’t mention is the dark side of Borlaug’s legacy: aquifers depleted by the irrigation demands of his hybrid grains; negative health and environmental impacts of the Green Revolution's chemical fertilizers and pesticides; and the crippling dependency of third world farmers on Monsanto, Cargill, and other industrial agriculture giants for seeds, chemical inputs, and crop prices.
The Universe Within contains many valuable facts, histories, and theories; however, it reads as if it were written in a vacuum.
It’s unfortunate that Dr. Shubin, with his great knowledge of geologic time and his skills in relating evolutionary events to a general audience, has ignored the starkly challenging era we live in.

Tiktaalik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tiktaalik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Tiktaalik lived approximately 375 million years ago. Paleontologists suggest that it is representative of the transition between non-tetrapod vertebrates (fish) such as Panderichthys, known from fossils 380 million years old, and early tetrapods such as Acanthostega and Ichthyostega, known from fossils about 365 million years old. Its mixture of primitive fish and derived tetrapod characteristics led one of its discoverers, Neil Shubin, to characterize Tiktaalik as a "fishapod".[3][4]"



'via Blog this'

Tiktaalik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tiktaalik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

 "Tiktaalik (pron.: /tɪkˈtɑːlɨk/) is a monospecific genus of extinct sarcopterygian (lobe-finned fish) from the late Devonian period, with many features akin to those of tetrapods (four-legged animals).[1] It is an example from several lines of ancient sarcopterygian fish developing adaptations to the oxygen-poor shallow-water habitats of its time, which led to the evolution of tetrapods.[2] Well-preserved fossils were found in 2004 on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada."

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Supernova Dust Fell to Earth in Antarctic Meteorites | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

Supernova Dust Fell to Earth in Antarctic Meteorites | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network:

"Two primitive meteorites collected in Antarctica appear to contain grains of silica—the stuff of quartz and sand—forged in an ancient supernova that predates the birth of the solar system. In fact, some researchers believe that it was just such a stellar explosion that triggered the formation of the solar system from a cloud of dust and gas billions of years ago. Whether or not the Antarctic meteorites contain a record of that fateful cataclysm, they do contain a supernova by-product that has never before been found on Earth."

'via Blog this'

Birds & Dinosaurus

SciAm

Massive double star is latest test for Einstein’s gravity theory : Nature News & Comment

Massive double star is latest test for Einstein’s gravity theory : Nature News & Comment:

 "Pulsar and white dwarf are spiralling towards each other at rate predicted by general relativity."

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Mary Horner Lyell: “A Monument of Patience” | Rosetta Stones, Scientific American Blog Network

Mary Horner Lyell: “A Monument of Patience” | Rosetta Stones, Scientific American Blog Network:

 "You never hear of the other Lyell. Sir Charles, you know quite well: he set the infant science of geology firmly on its feet and inspired Charles Darwin. But there’s another Lyell who was a geologist, and without her, Charles Lyell would have found his work far more difficult, if not impossible. When he married Mary Horner, he pledged himself to a lifelong scientific partner."

'via Blog this'

Saturn's Rings Hit by Meteor Shower

Saturn's Rings Hit by Meteor Shower:

"Streams of meteors may hit Saturn's majestic rings—kicking up clouds of dust—more often than thought, suggests surprising new results from NASA's Cassini spacecraft."

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Origins, unknown: where did the Maya empire really come from? | The Verge

Origins, unknown: where did the Maya empire really come from? | The Verge:

 "The astronomy, calendar, and apocalyptic predictions have been well documented, but there's one part of Maya history that researchers have yet to agree upon: how the ancient civilization actually came to be."

'via Blog this'

Incredible Photographs of Fractals Found in the Natural World

Incredible Photographs of Fractals Found in the Natural World:

"Fractals aren't just something you learn about in math class. They are also a gorgeous part of the natural world. Here are some of the most stunning examples of these repeating patterns that look the same no matter how far you zoom in or out."

'via Blog this'

BBC News - Earth's core far hotter than thought

BBC News - Earth's core far hotter than thought:

 "New measurements suggest the Earth's inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000C - as hot as the Sun's surface."

'via Blog this'

In Midwest, Drought Abruptly Gives Way to Flood - NYTimes.com

In Midwest, Drought Abruptly Gives Way to Flood - NYTimes.com:

"CHICAGO — The nation’s midsection, which was for months parched by severe drought, suddenly finds itself contending with the opposite: severe flooding that has forced evacuations, slowed commercial barge traffic down the Mississippi River and left farmers with submerged fields during a crucial planting time."

'via Blog this'

Quiz


  1. What does our galaxy look like?
  2. How do stars orbit in our galaxy?
  3. How is gas recycled in our galaxy?
  4. Where do stars tend to form in our galaxy?
  5. What do halo stars tell us about our galaxy's history?
  6. How did our galaxy form?
  7. What lies in the center of our galaxy?
  8.  Who is Andrea M. Ghez?
  9. Who observed stars moving close to the speed of light in the center of our galaxy?
  10. Where was Dr. Ghez born? 
Hint: Look up Andrea Ghez in Wikipedia

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Amber Reed's Notes

what is a white dwarf?
- a white dwarf is the most inert core of a dead star
-electron degeneracy pressures balances the inward pull of gravity 

what can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?
-matter form its close binary companion cab fall onto the white dwarf through an accretion disk
-accretion of matter can lead to novae and white dwarf novae

what is a neutron star?
-a ball of neutrons left over form a massive star supernova and supported by neutron degeneracy pressure

How were neutron stars discovered?
-beams of radiation form a rotating neutron star sweep through space like lighthouse beams, making the appear to pulse
-observations of these pulses wee the first evidence for neutron stars


what can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
-the accretion disk around a neutron star gets hot enough to produce X-rays,making the system an X-ray binary
-sudden fusion events periodically occur on the surface of an accreting neutron star,producing X-rays bursts

what is a black hole?
-a black hole is a massive object whose radius is so small that the escape velocity exceeds the sped of the light

What would it be like to visit a black hole?
-you can orbit a black hole like any other object of the same mass-black holes don't suck
-near the event horizon,time slows down and tidal forces are very strong

do black holes really exist?
-some X-rays binaries contain compact objects too massive to be neutron stars-they are almost certainly black holes


Amber Reed

Amber Reed's Quiz

1.     What is a white dwarf?
A white dwarf is the most inert core of a dead star. The electron degeneracy pressures balances the inward pull of gravity.

2.     What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system
A white dwarf in a close binary system can acquire hydrogen from its companion through an accretion disk. The hydrogen builds up on the white dwarf’s surface, it  produces with nuclear fusion to make a nova.

3.     What is a neutron star?
A ball of neutrons left over form a massive star supernova and supported by neutron degeneracy pressure

4.     How were neutron stars discovered?
By beams of radiation form a rotating neutron star sweep through space like lighthouse beams, making the appear to pulse. Also observations of these pulses wee the first evidence for neutron stars.

5.     What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
The accretion disk around a neutron star gets hot enough to produce X-rays,making the system an X-ray binary. The sudden fusion events periodically occur on the surface of an accreting neutron star,producing X-rays bursts.

6.     What is a black hole?
A black hole is a massive object whose radius is so small that the escape velocity exceeds the sped of the light.

7.     What would it be like to visit a black hole?
You can orbit a black hole like any other object of the same mass-black holes don't suck. Near the event horizon,time slows down and tidal forces are very strong.

8.     Do black holes really exist?
Some X-rays binaries contain compact objects too massive to be neutron stars-they are almost certainly black holes.

9.     What causes gamma ray bursts?
Gamma-ray bursts occur in distant galaxies and are the most powerful bursts of energy that are anywhere in the universe. The precise cause is unknown, yet at least some appear to come from unusually powerful supernovae.

10. What did Jocelyn Bell discover? 
Jocelyn Bell discovered the first neutron star by using a radio telescope. Jocelyn also notices a very regular pulses of radio emission coming from a single part of the sky.

Amber Reed

Chris McGown's Notes







Chris McGown's Quiz


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chapter 13 Quiz: Olivia Ward


  1. What is a white dwarf?

    A white dwarf is the left over core from a dead low-mass star. White dwarfs are supported by electron degeneracy pressure against the crush of gravity. They typically have the same mass as the Sun, but are no larger than Earth. No white dwarf can have a mass greater than 1.4 MSun and higher mass white dwarfs are typically smaller in size.

  2. What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?

    A white dwarf in a close binary system can acquire hydrogen from its companion through an accretion disk. A star that started with less mass gains mass from its companion. As hydrogen builds up on the white dwarf's surface, it may begin nuclear fusion and cause a nova. In some extreme cases, accretion may continue until the white dwarf's mass exceeds the white dwarf limit, causing it to explode as a white dwarf supernova.
  3. What is a neutron star?

    A neutron star is a ball of neutrons created by the collapse of the iron core in a massive supernova.
  4. How were neutron stars discovered?

    Neutron stars were discovered through pulsars, which were the first evidence of neutron stars. Neutron stars spin rapidly when they are born. Their strong magnetic fields can direct beams of radiation through space. while the neutron star rotates. We see these neutrons stars as pulsars.
  5. What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?

    Neutron stars in a close binary system can accrete hydrogen from their companions, forming accretion disks. Accreting matter adds angular momentum to the neutron star, increasing its spinning. This matter can eventually become hot enough for helium to fuse, causing x-ray bursts.
  6. What is a black hole?

    A black whole is an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it. The spherical surface, the event horizon, of the black whole is the radius at which the escape velocity is the speed of light. Nothing can escape a black whole because nothing can move faster than the speed of light.

  7. What would it be like to visit a black hole?

    You could orbit a black hole because there is no sucking action. Time would seem to run slowly for objects falling toward the black hole. Light would be red-shifted as the object approached the hole.
  8. Do black holes really exist?

    Some x-ray binaries include compact objects that are far too massive, mass exceeding 3 MSun, to be neutron stars, making it likely that they are black holes.

  9. What causes gamma ray bursts?

    The cause of gamma ray bursts is not exactly known, but the energy required to make a burst suggests that some gamma ray bursts appear to come from powerful supernova explosions that create black holes. Other gamma ray bursts may come from mergers of neutron stars in close binary systems, causing black holes.

  10. What did Jocelyn Bell discover?

    In 1967, Jocelyn Bell discovered a regular pulse (pulsars) of neutron stars using a radio telescope.

Chapter 13 Notes: Olivia Ward

The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard
13.1 White Dwarfs
What is a white dwarf?

  • White Dwarf
    • White dwarfs are the remaining cores of dead stars.
    • Electron degeneracy pressure supports them against gravity (quantum mechanical phenomena).
    • White dwarfs cool off and grow dimmer with time.
  • Size of a White Dwarf
    • White dwarfs with the same mass as the Sun are about the same size as Earth.
    • Higher-mass white dwarfs are smaller.
  • The White Dwarf Limit
    • Quantum mechanics says that electrons must move faster as they are squeezed into a very small space.
    • As a white dwarf's mass approaches 1.4 MSun, its electrons must move at nearly the speed of light.
    • Because nothing can move faster than light, a white dwarf cannot be more massive than 1.4 MSun, the white dwarf limit.
What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?
  • Accretion Disks
    • A star that stars with less mass gains mass from its companion.
    • Mass falling toward a white dwarf from its close binary companion has the same angular momentum.
    • The matter orbits the white dwarf in an accretion disk.
    • Friction between orbiting rings of matter in the disk transforms angular momentum.
  • Nova
    • The temperature of accreted matter eventually becomes not enough for hydrogen fusion.
      • Fusion begins suddenly and explosively, causing a nova.
    • The nova star system temporarily appears much brighter.
      • The explosion drives accreted matter out into space.
    • Two Types of Supernova
      • Massive Star Supernova
        • Iron core of massive star reaches white dwarf limit and collapses into a neutron star, causing an explosion.
      • White Dwarf Supernova
        • Carbon fusion suddenly begins as white dwarf in close binary system reaches white dwarf limit, causing a total explosion.
      • One way to tell supernova types apart is with a light curve showing how luminosity changes with time.
    • Nova or Supernova?
      • Supernovae are much more luminous than novae (10 million times).
      • Nova: H to He fusion of a layer f accreted matter, white dwarf left intact.
    • Massive Star or White Dwarf?
      • Light curves differ.
      • Spectra differ (exploding white dwarfs don't have hydrogen absorption lines).
    13.2 Neutron Stars
    What is a neutron star?
    • A neutron star is a ball of neutrons left behind by a massive star supernova.
    • The degeneracy pressure of neutrons support a neutron star against gravity.
    • Electron degeneracy pressure goes away because electrons combine with protons, making neutrons and neutrinos.
    • Neutrons collapse to the center, forming a neutron star.
    • A neutron star is about the same size as a small city.

    How were neutron stars discovered?
    • Discovery of Neutron Stars
      • Using a radio telescope in 1967, Jocelyn Bell noticed a regular pulse.
    • Pulsars
      • The pulsar at the center of the Crab nebula pulses 30 times per second.
      • A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis.
      • The radiation beams sweep as the neutron star rotates.
    What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
    • Matter falling toward a neutron star forms an accretion disk.
    • Accreting matter adds angular momentum to a neutron star, increasing spinning.
    • X-Ray Bursts
      • Matter accreting onto a neutron star can eventually become hot enough for helium to fuse.
    • Neutron Star Limit
      • Neutrons in the same place cannot be in the same state (quantum mechanics).
      • Neutron degeneracy pressure can no longer support a neutron star against gravity if its mass exceeds about 300 MSun.

    13.3 Black Holes: Gravity's Ultimate Victory
    What is a black hole?
    • A black hole is an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it.
    • Escape Velocity
      • Initial Kinetic Energy = Final Gravitational Potential Energy
      • (escape velocity) ^2 / 2 = 6 X (mass) / (radius)
    • Light would not be able to escape Earth's surface if you could shrink it to < 1 cm.
    • Surface of a Black Hole
      • The 'surface' of a black hole is the radius at which the escape velocity equals the speed of light.
      • This spherical surface is known as the event horizon.
      • The radius of the even horizon is known as the Schwarzschild radius.
    • A black hole's mass strongly wraps space and time in the velocity of the event horizon.
    • No Escape
      • Nothing can escape from within the event horizon because nothing can go faster than the speed of light.
      • No escape means there is no more contact with something that falls in.
        • It increases the hole's mass, changes its spin, or charge, but otherwise loses its identity.
    • Singularity
      • Beyond the neutron star limit, no known force can resist the crush of gravity.
      • As far as we know, gravity crushes all the matter into a single point known as singularity.
      What would it be like to visit a black hole?
      • Black holes don't suck.
      • If the Sun shrank into a black hole, its gravity would be different only near the event horizon.
      • Light waves take extra time to climb out of a deep hole in space-time, leading to gravitational redshift.
      • Time passes more slowly near the event horizon.
      • Tidal forces near the event horizon of a 3MSun lack hole would be lethal to humans.
      • Tidal forces would be gentler near the super massive black hole because its radius is much bigger.
      Do black holes really exist?
      • Black Hole Verification
        • Need to measure mass
          • Use orbital properties of companion
          • Measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas
        • It's a black hole if it's not a star and its mass exceeds the neutron star limit (~3 MSun)
      • Some X-Ray binaries contain compact objects of mass exceeding 3 MSun (too massive to be a neutron star).
      13.4 The Origin of Gamma Ray Bursts
      What causes gamma ray bursts?
      • Gamma Ray Bursts
        • Gamma ray bursts signify the birth of black holes.
        • Brief bursts of gamma rays coming from space were first detected in the 1960's (announced in 1973).
        • Observations in the 1990's showed that many gamma ray bursts were coming from very distant galaxies.
        • Most powerful explosions in the universe formation of the black hole
      • Supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts
        • Observations show that at least some gamma ray bursts are produced by supernova explosions.

      Jessica Horn: Quiz 13


      1. What is a white dwarf? A white dwarf is the core left over from a low mass star, supported against the crush of gravity by electron degeneracy pressure. A white dwarf typically has the mass of the Sun compressed into a size no larger than Earth. No white dwarf can have a mass greater than 1.4M Sun.
      2. What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system? A white dwarf in a close binary system can acquire hydrogen from its companion through an accretion disk that swirls toward the white dwarf's surface. As hydrogen builds  up on the white dwarf's surface, it may begin nuclear fusion and cause a nova that, for a few weeks, may shine as rightly as 100,000 Suns. 
      3. What is a neutron star?A neutron star is the ball of neutrons created by the collapse of the iron core in a massive star supernova. It resembles a giant atomic nucleus 10 km in radius and with more mass than the Sun.
      4. How were neutron stars discovered? Neutron stars spin rapidly when they are born, and their strong magnetic fields can direct beams of radiation that sweep through space as the neutron star spins,. We see such neutron stars as pulsars, and these pulsars provided the first direct evidence for the existence f neutron stars.
      5. What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system? Neutron stars in close binary systems can accrete hydrogen from their companions, forming dense, hot accretion disks. The hot gas emits strongly in X rays, so we see these systems as X-ray binaries. In some of these systems, frequent bursts of helium fusion occur on the neutron star's surface, causing X-ray bursts.
      6. What is a black hole? A black hold is a place where gravity has crushed matter into oblivion, creating a hole in the universe from which nothing can ever escape, not even light. The event horizon marks the boundary between our observable universe and the inside of the black hold; the black hole's Schwarzschild radius is the size of the event horizon.
      7. What would it be like to visit a black hole? You could orbit a black hole just like you could any other object of the same mass. However, you's see strange effects for an object falling toward the black hole: Time would seem to run slowly for the object, and its light would be increasingly red-shifted as it approached the black hole. The object would never quite reach the event horizon, but it would soon disappear from view as its light became so redshifted that no instrument could detect it.
      8. Do black holes really exist? No known force can stop the collapse of a stellar corpse with a mass above the neutron star limit of 2 to 3 solar masses, and theoretical studies of supernovae suggest that such objects should sometimes form. Observational evidence supports this idea: Some X-ray binaries include compact objects far too massive to be neutron stars, making it likely that they are black holes.
      9. What causes gamma ray bursts? No one knows exactly how gamma ray bursts are produced, but the energy required to make one suggests that gamma ray bursts occur when certain kinds of black holes are formed. At least some gamma ray bursts appear to come from unusually powerful supernova explosions that may create black holes. Others may come from the creation of black holes through mergers of neutron stars in close binary systems. 
      10. What did Jocelyn Bell discover? She discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish.  

      Jessica Horn: Chapter 13 Notes

      Chapter 13 The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard
      13.1 White Dwarfs

      • White dwarfs are remaining coves of dead stars
      • Electron degeneracy pressure supports them against gravity
      • White dwarfs cool off and grow dimmer with time
      Size of a White Dwarf
      • Quantum mechanics say that electrons must move faster as they are squeezed into a very small space
      • As a white dwarf's mass approaches 1.4MSun, its electrons must move at nearly the speed of light
      • Because nothing can move faster than light, a white dwarf cannot be more massive than 1.4M Sun, the white dwarf limit (aka Chandrasechar limit)
      • A star that started with less mass gains mass from its companion
      • Eventually, the mass-losing star will become a white dwarf
      Accretion Disks
      • Mass falling toward a white dwarf from its close binary companion has some angular momentum
      • The matter therefore orbits white dwarf in an accretion disk
      • Friction btwn orbiting rings of matter is disk transforms angular momentum...
      Nova
      • The temp of accreted matter eventually becomes hot enough for hydrogen fusion
      • Fusion begins suddenly and explosively, causing a nova 
      • The nova star system temporarily appears much brighter 
      • The explosion drives accreted matter out into space
      Two Types of Supernova
      • Massive star supernova:Iron core of massive star reaches white dwarf limit and collapses into a neutron star, causing an explosion
      • White Dwarf Supernova: Carbon fusion suddenly begins as white dwarf in close binary system reaches white dwarf limit, causing a total explosion
      • One way to tell supernova types apart is with a light curve showing how luminosity changes with time
      Nova or Supernova?
      • Supernovae are much much more luminous than novae
      • Nova: H to He fusion of a layer of accreted matter; white dwarf left intact
      Supernova Types: Massive Star or White Dwarf
      • Light curves differ
      • Spectra differ (exploding white dwarfs don't have hydrogen absorption lines)
      13.2 Neutron Stars
      • Neutron Star: is the ball of neutrons left behind by a massive-star supernova
      • The degeneracy pressure of neutrons supports a neutron star against gravity 
      • Electron degeneracy pressure goes away bc electrons combine with protons, making neutrons and neutrinos 
      • Neutrons collapse to the center, forming a neutron star
      • A neutron star is about the same size as a small city
      Pulsars
      • A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis
      • The radiation beams sweep through spacelike lighthouse beams as the neutron star rotates
      • Pulsars spin fast bc the core's spin speeds up as it...
      • Matter falling toward a neutron star forms an accretion disk...
      • Accreting matter adds angular momentum to a neutron star, increasing its spin
      X-Ray Burst
      • Matter accreting onto a neutron star can eventually become hot enough for helium to fuse
      • The sudden onset of fusion produces X-ray
      13.3 Black Holes: Gravities Ultimate Victory
      • Black Hole- an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it
      • Some massive star supernovae can make a black hole even if mass...
      • Light would not be able to escape Earth's surface if you could shrink it to less than 1 cm
      Surface of Black Hole
      • "Surface" of black hole is the radius at which the escape velocity is the speed of light
      • This spherical surface is known as the event horizon
      • The radius of the event horizon is known as Schwarzchild radius
      • A black hole's mass strongly warps space and time in the vicinity of the event horizon
      No Escape
      • Nothing can escape from within the even horizon bc nothing can go faster than light
      • No escape means there is no more contact with something that falls in it. It increased the hole's mass, changes its spin or charge, but otherwise loses its identity
      Singularity
      • Beyond the neutron star limit, no known force can resist the crush of gravity
      • As far as we know, gravity crushes all the matter into a single point known as a singularity
      • If Sun shrank into a black hole, its gravity would be different only near the event horizon
      • Black holes don't suck!
      • Light waves take extra time to climb out of a deep hold in spacetime, leading to a gravitational redshift 
      • Time passes more slowly near event horizon
      Black Hole Verification
      • Need to measure mass
      • Uses orbital properties of companion
      • Measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas
      • It's a black hole if it's not a star and its mass exceed the neutron star limit
      13.4 The Origin of Gamma-Ray Bursts
      • Brief bursts of gamma rays coming from space were first detected in 1960s
      • Observations from the 90s showed that many gamma-ray bursts were coming from distant galaxies
      • They must be among the most powerful explosions in the universe-could be the formation of black holes
      • Observations show that at least some gamma-ray bursts are produced by supernova explosions

      Allison Thompson Chapter 13 Quiz

      1. What is a white dwarf?
       White dwarfs are the remaining cores of dead stars. Electron degeneracy pressure supports them against gravity. White dwarfs cool off and grow dimmer with time. White dwarfs with the same mass as the sun are the same size of Earth. Higher mass white dwarfs are smaller. Quantum mechanics says that electrons must move faster as they are squeezed into a very small space. As a white dwarfs mass approaches 1.4m its electrons must move at nearly the speed of light. Because nothing can move faster than light a white dwarf cannot be more massive than 1.4.

      1. What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?
       A star started with less mass gains mass from its companion. Mass falling toward a white dwarf from its close because. has Some angular motion. The matter therefore orbits the white dwarf in an acceleration disk.

       
      1. What is a neutron star?
       A neutron star is the ball of neutrons left behind by a massive star supernova.
      1. How were neutron stars discovered?
       Using a radon telescope in 1967 Jocelyn Bell noticed a regular pulse.
      1. What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
       Matter falling toward a neutron star forms an acceleration disk.

      1. What is a black hole?
       A black hole is an object that’s so powerful that not even light can escape.
      1. What would it be like to visit a black hole?
       Time passes more slowly near the event horizon
      1. Do black holes really exist?
       Needs to measure mass. use orbital properties of companion measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas.

      1. What causes gamma ray bursts?
       Brief bursts of gamma rays coming from space were first detects in the 1960s.

      1. What did Jocelyn Bell discover?
      Neutron Stars

      Allison Thompson Chapter 13 notes

      Chapter 13 The bizarre stellar grave yard



      13.1
      What is a white dwarf?
      -White dwarfs are the remaining cores of dead stars.
      -Electron degeneracy pressure supports them against gravity.
      -White dwarfs cool off and grow dimmer with time.
      -White dwarfs with the same mass as the sun are the same size of Earth.
      -Higher mass white dwarfs are smaller.
      -Quantum mechanics says that electrons must move faster as they are squeezed into a very small space.
      -As a white dwarfs mass approaches 1.4m its electrons must move at nearly the speed of light.
      -Because nothing can move faster than light a white dwarf cannot be more massive than 1.4.

      What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?
      -A star started with less mass gains mass from its companion.
      -Mass falling toward a white dwarf from its close because. has Some angular motion.
      -The matter therefore orbits the white dwarf in an acceleration disk.
      -The temperature of accreted matter eventually becomes hot enough for hydrogen fusion.
      -Fusion begins suddenly and explosively causing a nova.
      -The nova star system temporarily appears Much brighter.
      -The explosion drives accreted matter out into space.
      -Massive star supernovas have iron cores of massive star reaches. white dwarf limit and collapses into a neutron star causing an explosion.
      -White dwarf supernova is carbon fused suddenly begins as a white dwarf in close binary system reaches white dwarf limit causing Total explosion.
      -One way to tell supernova types apart is with a light curve showing How luminosity changes with time.
      -Supernova are Much Much more luminous Than novae.
      -Nova is H to He fusion of layer of accretes matter white dwarf left intact.
      -Supernova a complete explosion if white dwarfs.
      -Light curves differ
      -Spectra differ exploding white dwarfs don't have hydrogen absorption lines.

      13.2
      What is a neutron star?
      -A neutron star is the ball of neutrons left behind by a massive star supernova.
      -The degeneracy pressure of neutrons supports a neutron star against gravity.
      -Electron degeneracy pressure goes away because electrons combines with protons making neutrons and neutrinos.
      -Neutrons collapse to the center forming a neutron star.
      -A neutron star is the same size as a small city.

      How were neutron stars discovered?
      -Using a radon telescope in 1967 Jocelyn Bell noticed a regular pulse.
      -Pulsar at center of Crab nebula pluses 30 times per second.
      -A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis.
      -The radiation beam sweep through space like a light house beams as the neutron star rotates.

      What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
      - Matter falling toward a neutron star forms an acceleration disk.
      -Accreting matter adds angular momentum to a neutron star increasing spinning.
      -Matter accreting onto neutron star can eventually become hot enough for helium to fuse.
      -Quantum mechanics says that neutrons in the same place cannot be in the same state.
      -Neutron degeneracy pressure can no longer support a neutron star against gravity if its mass exceeds about 3M.

      13.3
      What is a black hole?
      -A black hole is an object that’s so powerful that nit even light can escape.
      -light would not be able to Escape earths surface if you could shrink it.
      -The surface of a black hole is the radius at which the escape of velocity equals the speed of light.
      -The spherical surface is known as the event horizon.
      -The radius of the event horizon is known as Schwarzschild radius
      -the event horizon of 3m black hole is also about as bug as a small city.
      -A black holes mass strongly wraps space and time in vicinity of the event horizon.
      -Nothing can Escape from within the event horizon because nothing can to faster than light.
      -No Escape means there is no contact with something that falls in. it increases the holes mass changes its spin or charge but otherwise loses its identity.
      -Beyond the neutron star limit no known force can resist the crush of gravity.
      -As far as we know gravity crushes all the matter into a single point known as a singularity.

      What would it be like to visit a black hole?
      -If the sun shrank into a black hole its gravity would be different only near the event horizon.
      -Light waves take extra time to climb put of a deep hole I'm space-time leading to gravitational red shift.
      -Time passes more slowly near the event horizon.
      -Tidal force near the event horizon of a 3M black hole would be lethal to humans.
      -Tidal forces would be gentler near a super massive black hole because its radius is much bigger.

      Do black holes really exist?
      -Needs to measure mass. use orbital properties of companion measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas.
      -If its a black hole if its not a star its mass exceeds the neutron star limit .
      -Some x ray binaries contain compact objects of mass exceeding 3m.
      -One famous x-ray binary with a black hole is in a constellation.

      13.4
      What causes gamma rays to burst.
      -Brief bursts of gamma rays coming from space were first detects in the 1960s.
      -Observations in the 1990s showed that gamma rays bursts were coming from very distant galaxies.
      -They must be among the most powerful explosions.
      -Observations show that at least Some gamma rays bursts are produced by supernova explosions.

      Chapter 13 Notes Jessica Brandon


      Chapter 13

      White dwarfs cool off and grow dimmer with time.
      Size if a dwarf: what dwarfs with the same mass as the sun are about the same size as the earth. Higher mass white dwarf are smaller
      Quantum mechanics says that elections must move faster as they are squeezed into a very small place.
      A star that started with less mass gains mass from its companion.
      Mass falling towards a white dwarf from its close binary companion has some angular momentum.
      The temperature of accreted matter eventually becomes hot enough for hydrogen fusion
      Fusion begins suddenly and explosively causing a nova the ova star system temporarily appears much brighter
      The explosion drives accreted matter out into space
      Tyler of supernova
      Massive star supernova iron core of massive sat reaches white dwarf limit and collapses into a neutron star causing an explosion
      White dwarf supernova carbon fusion suddenly begins as white dwarf in close binary system reaches white dwarf limits causing a total explosion.
      On way to tell supernova types apart is with a light curve showing how luminosity changes with time.
      Supernova are much more luminous than novae
      Nova H to He fusion of a layer of accreted matter white dwarf left intact
      Light curves differ
      Spectra differ exploding white dwarfs don't have hydrogen absorption lines.
      ****13.2 neutron stars****
      A neutron star is the ball of neutrons left behind by a massive star supernova.
      The degeneracy pressure of neutrons supports a neuron star against gravity
      Electrons degeneracy pressure goes away because electrons combine with protons making neutrons and neutrinos
      Neutrons collapse to the center forming a neutron star
      Pulsar at center of Crab Nebula pulses 30 times per second.
      A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis.
      The radiation beams sweep through space like lighthouse beams as the neutron star rotates.
      Quantum mechanics says that neutrons in the same place cannot be in the same state.
      ****13.3 black holes gravity's ultimate victory****
      A black hole is an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it.
      Light would not be able to escape earths surface if you could shrink it to 1 cm.
      The surface of a black hole is the radius at which the escape velocity equals the speed of light.
      This spherical surface is known as the event horizon
      The radius of the event horizon is known as the schwarzschild radius.
      The even horizon of a  black hole is also about as big as a small city
      A black holes mass strongly wraps space and time in the vicinity of the even horizon.
      Nothing can escape from within the event horizon because nothing can go faster than light.
      No escape means there is no more contract with something that falls in. It increases the holes mass changes its spin or charge, but otherwise loses its identity.
      Beyond the neutron star limit no known force can resist the crush of gravity
      As far as we know, gravity crushes all the. After into a single point known as a singularity.
      If the sun shrink into a black hole, its gravity would be different only new the event horizon.
      Light waves take extra time to climb out of a deep hole in space time, leading to a gravitational redshift.
      Time passes more slowly near the event of horizon
      Tidal forces would be gentler near a super massive black hole because it radius is much bigger.
      Need to measure mass, use orbital properties of companion measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas
      It's a black hole if it is not a star and its mass exceeds the neutron star limit
      ****13.4 the mystery of gamma ray bursts****
      Brief bursts of gamma rays coming from space were first detected in the 1960.
      Observations in the 1990 showed that many gamma rays bursts were coming from very distant galaxies.
      Observation show that at least some gamma ray bursts are produced by supernova explosions.

      Chapter 13 Quiz Jessica Brandon



      1.     What is a white dwarf?
      A white dwarf is the core left over from a low-mass star, supported against the crush of gravity by electron degeneracy pressure.
      2.     What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system
      A white dwarf in a close binary system can acquire hydrogen from its companion through an accretion disk. As hydrogen builds up on the white dwarf’s surface, it may ignite with nuclear fusion to make a nova.
      3.     What is a neutron star?
      A neutron star is the ball of neutrons created by the collapse of the iron core in a massive star supernova.
      4.     How were neutron stars discovered?
      Neutron stars spin rapidly when they are born, and their strong magnetic fields can direct beams of radiation that sweep through space as the neutron star spins. We see such neutron stars as pulsars, and these pulsars provided the first direct evidence for the existence of neutron stars.
      5.     What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
      Neutron stars in close binary systems can accrete hydrogen from their companions, forming dense, hot accretion disks. The hot gas emits strongly in X rays, so we see these systems as X-ray binaries. In some of these systems, frequent bursts of helium fusion ignite on the neutron star’s surface, emitting X-ray bursts.
      6.     What is a black hole?
      A black hole is a place where gravity has crushed matter into oblivion, creating a true hole in the universe from which nothing can ever escape, not even light.
      7.     What would it be like to visit a black hole?
      Time would seem to run slowly for the object. Its light would be increasingly redshifted as it approached the black hole. The object would never quite reach the event horizon, but it would soon disappear from view as its light became so redshifted that no instrument could detect it.
      8.     Do black holes really exist?
      No known force can stop the collapse of a stellar corpse with a mass above the neutron star limit of 2 to 3 solar masses, and theoretical studies of supernovae suggest that such objects should sometimes form. Observational evidence supports this idea.
      9.     What causes gamma ray bursts?
      Gamma-ray bursts occur in distant galaxies and are the most powerful bursts of energy we observe anywhere in the universe. No one knows their precise cause, although at least some appear to come from unusually powerful supernovae.
      10. What did Jocelyn Bell discover? 
      She discovered the first neutron star by using a radio telescope. She notices a very regular pulses of radio emission coming from a single part of the sky.

      Sunday, April 21, 2013

      Earthquake Mexico - Wolfram|Alpha

      Earthquake Mexico - Wolfram|Alpha:



      'via Blog this'

      Earthquake China - Wolfram|Alpha

      Earthquake China - Wolfram|Alpha:



      'via Blog this'

      China Quake Kills Many and Injures Thousands - NYTimes.com

      China Quake Kills Many and Injures Thousands - NYTimes.com:

       "YUXI, China — Many residents of this tiny village in the mountainous region of southwest China spent Saturday night in tents and makeshift shelters, too scared to sleep in their flimsy homes after an earthquake killed 160 people early that morning."

      'via Blog this'

      Friday, April 19, 2013

      Quiz


      1. What is a white dwarf?
      2. What can happen to a white dwarf in a close binary system?
      3. What is a neutron star?
      4. How were neutron stars discovered?
      5. What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?
      6. What is a black hole?
      7. What would it be like to visit a black hole?
      8. Do black holes really exist?
      9. What causes gamma ray bursts?
      10. What did Jocelyn Bell discover? 

      Amber Reed's Quiz

      How do stars form?
      Stars form in dark clouds of dusty gas in interstellar space.  The gas between the  stars called the interstellar medium. Gravity can create stars only if it can overcome the force of thermal pressure in a cloud.  Also, gravity within contracting gas cloud becomes stronger as the gas becomes denser. 

      How massive are newborn stars?
      A cluster of many stars can form out of a single cloud.  They very massive stars and  are rare.  Also, low mass stars are common.

      What are the life stages of a low-mass star?
      A star remains in the main sequence as long as it can fuse hydrogen into helium in its core.  The Life track after main sequence is observations of stars cluster show that a star become larger redder and more luminous after its time on the main sequence is over.

      How does a low-mass star die?
      Double shell fusion, which is; after core helium fusion stops, He fuses into carbon in a shell around the carbon core, and H fuses to He in a shell around the helium layer. This double shell fusion stage never reaches equilibrium the fusion trade periodically spikes.

      What are the life stages of a high-mass star?
      A high mass star lives a much shorter life than a low mass star, fusing hydrogen into helium via the CNO cycle. After exhausting its core hydrogen , high mass star begins hydrogen shell fusion and then goes through a series fusing successively heavier elements. The furious rate of this fusion makes the star swell in size to become  supergiant. 

      How do high-mass stars make the elements necessary for life?

      in its final stages of life, a high mass stars core becomes hot enough to fuse carbon and other heavy elements. the variety if different fusion reactions produces a wide range of elements-including all the elements necessary for life- that are then released into space when that stars dies. 

      How does a high-mass star die?
      A high mass star dies in a cataclysmic  explosion called supernova, scattering newly produced elements into space and leaving behind a neutron star or black hole. The supernova occurs after fusion begins to pile up iron in the high mass star's core.Because iron fusion cannot release energy, the core cannot hold off the crush of gravity for long. In the instant that gravity overcomes degeneracy pressure, the core collapses and the star explodes. 

      How does a star's mass determine the life story?

      A star's mass determines how it lives its life. Low-mass stars never get hot enough to fuse carbon or heavier elements in their cores and end their lives by expelling their outer layers and leaving white dwarfs behind. High-mass stars live short but brilliant lives, ultimately dying in supernova explosions.

      How are the lives of stars with close companions different?
      When one star in a close binary system begins to swell in size at the end of its main-sequence stage, it can begin to transfer mass to its companion. This mass exchange can then change the remaining life histories of both stars. 



      Amber Reed

      Amber Reed's Notes

      Chapter 12: Star stuff

      12.1
      How do star form?
      -stars form in dark clouds of dusty gas in interstellar space
      -e gas between the  stars called e interstellar medium 
      - gravity can create stars only if it can overcome the force of thermal pressure in a cloud
      -gravity within contracting gas cloud becomes stronger as the gas becomes denser
      Mass of a star forming cloud :
      --a typical molecular cloud must contain at least a few hundred solar masses of gravity to overcome ( T~30k, n~300 particles/ cm^3)
      - the cloud can prevent a pressure build up by converting thermal energy into infrared and radio photons that escape the cloud 
      fragmentation of cloud:
      -ThIs simulation begins with a turbulent cloud counting 50 solar masses of gas
      -the random moons of different sections of the cloud cause it to become lumpy 
      -Each lump of the cloud in which gravity can overcome pressure can go on to become a star
      -a large cloud can make a whole cluster of stars 

      Glowing dust grains:
      -as star begin to form , dust grains that absorb visible light heat up and emit infrared light 
      -long wavelength infrared light is brightest from regions where many stars are currently forming

      -Solar system formation is a good example of star birth
      -Cloud heats up as gravity causes it to contract due to conservation of energy. Contraction can continue if thermal energy radiated away. 
      - as gravity forces a cloud to become smaller , it begins to spin faster and faster due to conservation of angular momentum. 
      -as gravity forces a cloud to become smaller it begins to spin faster and faster due to conservation of angular momentum . Gas settles into spinning disk because spin hampers
      -flattening : collision between particles in it cause it to flatten .
      Formation of jets : 
      -rotation also causes jets of matter to shoot out Along the rotation axis
      -jets are observed coming from the centers of disks around protostars 
      Protostar to main sequence:
      -Protostar contracts and heats until the core temp is sufficient for hydrogen fusion
      -contraction  ends when energy released by hydrogen fusion balances energy radiated form the surface
      -it takes 30 million years for a star like the Sun( less time for more massive stars)

      Summary of star birth : 
      -Gravity causes gas cloud to shrink and fragment
      -Core of shrinking cloud heats up
      -When core gets hot enough fusion begins and stops the shrinking
      -New star schedules long lasting state of balance

      How massive are newborn stars?

      -a cluster of many stars can form out of a single cloud 
      -very massive stars are rare
      -low mass stars are common

      Upper limits in a stats mass:
      -photons exert a slight amount of pressure when they strike matter
      -very massive stars are so luminous that the collective pressure of photons drives their matter into space 
      -models of stars suggest that radiation pressure limits how massive a star can be without blowing itself apart
      -observations have not found stars more massive than about 300Msun
      Lower limits : 
      -fusion will not begin in contracting cloud if some sort of force stops contraction before the core temp rises above 10^7 K
      -thermal pressure cannot stop contraction because the star is constantly losing thermal energy from its surface through radiation

      Degeneracy pressure :
      -Laws if quantum mechanics prohibit two electrons from occupying the same state in the same place 

      Thermal pressure: depends on heat content 
      -the main form of pressure in most stars

      Degeneracy pressure:
      -particles can't be in same state in same place
      -doesn't depend on heat content 

      Brown dwarfs :
      - degeneracy pressure halts the contraction of objects with <.08Msun before the core temp becomes hot enough for fusion
      -starlike objects not massive enough to start fusion are brown dwarfs
      - a brown dwarf emits infrared light because of heat leftover from contraction

      Brown dwarfs in Orion:
      -infrared observations can reveal recently formed brown dwarfs because that are still relatively warm and luminous 

      12.2 Life as Low Mass stars :

      What are the life stages of a low mass star?
      -a star remains in the main sequence as long as it can fuse hydrogen into helium in its core 

      Life track after main sequence :
      -observations of stars cluster show that a star becomes larger redder and more luminous after its time on the main sequence is over 

      Broken thermostat :
      -as the core contracts H begins fusing to He in a shell around the core
      -luminosity increases because the core thermostat is broken, the increasing fusion rate in the shell does not stop the core from contracting 

      -helium fusion does not begin right away because it requires higher temp than Hydrogen fusion larger charge leads to greater repulsion
      -The fusion of two helium nuclei doesn't work so helium fusion must combine three He nuclei to make carbon
      Helium flash 
      -thermostat is Bren in low mass red giant because degeneracy pressure supports the core

      -Helium core fusion stars enthused shrink nor grow because the core thermostat is temp fixed
      -models show that red giant should shrink and become  less luminous after helium fusion begins in the core
      -Combining models of stars of similar age but different mass helps us to age date star clusters 
      how does a low mass star die?
      Double shell fusion :
      -after core helium fusion stops, He fuses into carbon in a shell around the carbon core, and H fuses to He in a shell around the helium layer
      -this double shell fusion stage never reaches equilibrium the fusion trade periodically spikes

      -Double shell fusion ends with a pulse that enacts the H and He into space as a planetary nebula 
      -the core left behind becomes a white dwarf 

      End of fusion :
      -fusion progresses no further in low mass star because the core temp never grows hot enough for fusion of heavier elements ( some He fuses to C to make oxygen)
      -degeneracy pressure supports the white dwarf
      -Life stages of low Mass star such as Sun 


      12.3 Life as a high mass star:

      What are the life stages of high mass star?
      A high mass star lives a much shorter life than a low mass star, fusing hydrogen into helium via the CNO cycle. After exhausting its core hydrogen , high mass star begins hydrogen shell fusion and then goes through a series fusing successively heavier elements. The furious rate of this fusion makes the star swell in size to become  supergiant. 


      How do high mass stars make the elements necessary for life?


      in its final stages of life, a high mass stars core becomes hot enough to fuse carbon and other heavy elements. the variety if different fusion reactions produces a wide range of elements-including all the elements necessary for life- that are then released into space when that stars dies

      How dies a high mass star die?

      A high mass star dies in a cataclysmic  explosion called supernova, scattering newly produced elements into space and leaving behind a neutron star or black hole. The supernova occurs after fusion begins to pile up iron in the high mass star's core.Because iron fusion cannot release energy, the core cannot hold off the crush of gravity for long. In the instant that gravity overcomes degeneracy pressure, the core collapses and the star explodes. 

      How does a star's mass determine the life story?

      A star's mass determines how it lives its life. Low-mass stars never get hot enough to fuse carbon or heavier elements in their cores and end their lives by expelling their outer layers and leaving white dwarfs behind. High-mass stars live short but brilliant lives, ultimately dying in supernova explosions.

      How are the lives of stars with close companions different?
      When one star in a close binary system begins to swell in size at the end of its main-sequence stage, it can begin to transfer mass to its companion. This mass exchange can then change the remaining life histories of both stars. 



      Amber Reed

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