Scope on the Skies: End of the line for a star like ours by: Bob Riddle

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Stars of different masses have varying life spans, with the more massive stars “burning out” more quickly than stars of lower masses. How or what they do when they burn out also varies, depending on the mass of the star. All stars are called main sequence stars as they continue fusing hydrogen and staying in a state of equilibrium—a balance between gravity and thermal pressure. However, when stars stop fusing hydrogen, they undergo changes that will lead to their eventual death. Once again, a star’s mass determines how long it will last.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:16 AM

This article gives a very concise simple explanation of the life cycle of a star. It goes into great detail about what will happen to Earth's sun. Talking about something that directly effects our planet brings science home to students. They are not discussing something far away, but something they can directly relate to...our Sun.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:54 AM

All stars are called main sequence stars. However, the stars mass determines the length of its existence. The article describes the life cycle stars. Our sun is considered a low mass star and is used as a reference point (a value of 1) for other stars in our universe. Reading this article will explain the different stages a star must go through before it dies. There is a great deal to consider as a star travels through its life cycle. This article explains it all.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:29 PM

This article provides detailed information on the future of our sun. I knew the sun would eventually fuse helium but I had never thought about the consequences of that - that a carbon core would be created! In very easy to understand terms the author takes you from the present to the end of the sun's life cycle and presents questions you could pose for your students after they read this article or did their own research on the topic. The only reason I do not give this 5 stars is because it would have been nice to have had links to additional resources of information on star life-cycles, research on the sun, or lesson ideas. I think this is an excellent reference for teachers or students due to its writing style.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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