11. Origin of the Elements

Last: 10. Stellar Nurseries Next: 12. The Milky Way and Other Galaxies

The relentless escape of energy from high-mass stars drives these objects to increasingly extreme stages of nuclear burning. But when the reactions begin to produce iron, the star runs out of nuclear energy sources, and its subsequent explosion spews newly-synthesized elements back into interstellar space.



    Ch. 9-8When core hydrogen fusion ceases, a main-sequence star becomes a giant
    Ch. 9-9Helium fusion begins at the center of a giant
    Ch. 9-10As stars evolve, their positions on the H-R diagram shift
    Ch. 9-11Globular clusters are bound groups of old stars
    Ch. 10-4A series of fusion reactions in high-mass stars leads to luminous supergiants
    Ch. 10-5High-mass stars violently blow apart in supernova explosions
    Ch. 10-6Remnants of supernova explosions can be detected for millennia afterward
    Ch. 10-7Supernova 1987A offers a close-up look at a massive star's death
    Ch. 10-8Accreting white dwarfs in close binary systems can also explode as supernovae

Web Resources:

Homework 11: Advanced Nuclear Burning, due 11/13.

Quiz 11: Fates of Stars, given 11/08.

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: November 13, 2001