• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Lifecycle of a Sun

Extracts from this document...


Life Cycle of the Sunimage00.png

1) Before nuclear fusion, when the sun was still being created in the interstellar nebula, it was just a protostar. A protostar forms when gravity and pressure begin to condense matter in the centre of the nebula, but no nuclear fusion is yet taking placeWhen nuclear fusion begins, a star is "born". Our sun started burning hydrogen at 4.5 billion years ago. When the sun started it was a little smaller, less bright and cooler than it is today.
2) The

...read more.


4) Then the sun is 12.2 billion years old it will enter the Red Giant phase. The sun will become big enough to completely consume the planet Mercury. As a red giant, the sun will be cooler in temperature, but brighter. When the Sun reaches its maximum size as a red giant, helium fusion will occur in the core, and the star will begin to release more energy. As a result, the sun will shrink in size, but become hotter. Once the Sun is 12.3 billion years old, it will run out of helium. Since the sun doesn't have any more fuel to burn, this stage marks the beginning of the end. 
...read more.


white dwarf. A white dwarf is very dense because it contains only the heaviest elements fused over its lifetime, but no more nuclear fusion will be taking place. Because there is no more nuclear fusion occurring in its core, the sun will become much cooler in temperature and only give off a fraction of the light it once did. Over time the Sun will stop generating any heat or light. When no more nuclear fusion is taking place, the Sun will end its life as a black dwarf. Scientists aren't sure what this will look like because the process can take trillions of years, and our universe is only 13.7 billion years old. 
...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Mars - The red planet

    Surrounding the lander would be its two-part bioshell, which prevented Earth microorganisms from 'nesting' inside the Viking lander. Prior to the landing, the lower half of the bioshell would be discarded, and an aeroshell would protect the lander during the entry of the Martian atmosphere.

  2. The Sun, the largest fusion reactor in the Solar System, but for how long?

    Energy is released in the core primarily in the form of ?- ray and X- ray radiation or high energy, short wavelength "photons". These photons cannot travel far before being absorbed, they are re-emitted a multitude of times, and their energies decline as they move out through the solar globe.

  1. Sustaining life on Mars - the survival of the human race.

    Seeds just need to be planted before the colonists arrive. Any livestock could be transported to Mars after the colonists and procreate in a similar fashion to the process that the humans used. Fish will definitely be a major source of food.

  2. The life cycle of a star.

    o The star explodes into a supernova and its material spreads back into the space around. In even larger stars, fusion of carbon can continue more steadily, producing still larger nuclides and ultimately creating iron nuclei. The iron nuclei also experience fusion, but these are different as they are energy consuming meaning they keep it in.

  1. In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.

    of line for the length of time this lump of stuff in space we call the earth has been knocking around. We do draw the line at billions of years, because there is no incontrovertible scientific evidence to support billions of years, but much which appears to support hundreds of thousands of years.

  2. Journey to the farthest planet (Pluto).

    The first potential vaccine is known to be gp120, a made protein that is absorb by cells that immobilize the membrane of HIV that cause itself to mutate and 'breed'. This vaccine activates our immune system that could attack the virus before they enter in our bloodstream.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work