Universe: Birth, Life, and Death of Stars

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the third of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It explores the life cycle of stars and the variables that determine eventual characteristics of stars. The formation of a star begins with an immense cloud, containing molecules of the lightest elements, collapses under the influence of gravity. The molecules in the cloud heat (up as the cloud becomes more dense) until light elements consistently fuse into heavier ones, producing large amounts of energy. Eventually, the most massive of stars explode, producing new clouds that contain heavier elements. These new clouds of material set the stage for the formation of other stars and planets, in a cycle that repeatedly continues even today. The speed of this process and ultimate fate of a star depends primarily on its initial mass. Stars can differ from each other in size, temperature, and age, but they all behave according to the same physical principles.

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Reviews (9)
  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:55 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Universe: Birth, Life, and Death of Stars Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only do they enrich my teaching, the knowledge enriches my life as well!.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:38 PM

It is a great tool to refresh the memory.

Roberta Urbietyte
Roberta Urbietyte

  • on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:38 PM

It is a great tool to refresh the memory.

Roberta Urbietyte
Roberta Urbietyte

  • on Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:05 AM

Wonderful interaction - great help with explaining the H-R diagram!

Tory Addison
Tory Addison

  • on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:11 PM

This Science Object was easy to read and understand. It clarified several areas I had been confused on. This was a well thought out and written resource. It was definitely worth reading. I gained new insight into stars. Thank you NSTA.

Deborah Andrews
Deborah Andrews

  • on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:18 PM

Found new ideas to increase student attainment.

Terri Bedgood  (Seminole, FL)
Terri Bedgood (Seminole, FL)

  • on Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:55 AM

This was a very informative resource. Knowing the material already, I looked at it from a teacher standpoint and related it to how I might teach it to my studens as it was being taught to me. The material in this object can be directly used in my afterschool Astronomy group!

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart

  • on Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:39 PM

Really helpful, it explains the differences between stars and how the pathways of stars differ.

Kelly  (Brewster, NY)
Kelly (Brewster, NY)

  • on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:42 PM

This science object does a great job in highlighting the differences among stars (size, temperature, brightness, proximity to the Earth, chemical composition, etc.), as well as taking the learner on an adventure as a star is born and later runs out of fuel (white dwarf, neutron, black hole). Great resource (visuals) to share with my scholars as we delve into the Lives of Stars in our science class.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

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