Lecture 12 Notes

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Stefan Mochnacki

Cliff Lau University of Toronto AST201 Lecture 12 (March 1, 2011) Death of a high-mass star the main differences (between high and low-mass stars) are that they die faster and they can fuse elements heavier than helium before they run out of things to burn. Due to the higher compression its extra gravity provides, massive stars can fuse elements all the way up to iron. They cannot fuse iron. Once a massive stars core stops burning, its own gravity wins out over pressure and starts crushing it. Low-mass stars stop collapsing because their electrons refuse to get close together; massive stars get around this by simply destroying their electrons. In seconds, most of the stars core is turned into neutrons. Further collapse is prevented by neutron degeneracy pressure. Meanwhile, the rest of the star is rushing inward at about 20% of
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