Life Cycle of a Star - Harvard University

Life Cycle of a Star - Harvard University

A bit about me! Dr. Belinda Wilkes, Professional Astrophysicist (Astronomer) Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., USA On contract to NASA to run Chandra X-ray Observatory (Hubbles X-ray sister) English, BSc St. Andrews, PhD Cambridge In USA since 1982

May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Astronomers learn by looking May 2006April 2004

Belinda Wilkes Life Cycle of a Star The Sun: our nearest star May 2006April 2004

Belinda Wilkes Stars have different colors B: blue hottest A: green warm C: red - cool What can we measure?

May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Color, Brightness + Count them May 2006April 2004

Belinda Wilkes What makes the Sun Shine? May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

Where are Stars Born? Clusters: Pleiades May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Stellar Nurseries

Optical Infrared: 30 Doradus in LMC May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Circumstellar Disks

Infrared First image of dust disk, around 18th brightest star 25 light years away Disk thought to be debris left from planet

formation May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes May 2006April 2004

Belinda Wilkes Stellar Life Star burns fuel in its core (fusion: HHelium) Initially fuel is H, star is on Main Sequence Adult (e.g. The Sun) When H runs out, core

heats up and He, burns: Middle Age (Giant star) then He runs out, it burns heavier elements, e.g. Fe May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

HR Diagram shows age and mass May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Death of a Star

When all fuel runs out, the core collapses Outer regions of star explode outwards: Supernova SN shine more brightly than a galaxy for a few hours/days May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

We are made of stardust! May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Cassiopeia A: X-rays

May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes The Crab Nebula Chandra X-ray Observatory: X-ray May 2006April 2004

Hubble Space T/p: Optical Belinda Wilkes Chandra X-ray Observatory May 2006April 2004

Belinda Wilkes What are X-rays? May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

Focusing X-rays May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes Launch: 23 July 1999

Space Shuttle Columbia May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes STS-93 Shuttle Crew Commander:

Eileen Collins Mission Spclst: Cady Coleman Astronomer: Steve Hawley May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

Supernovae by Chandra May 2006April 2004 Belinda Wilkes

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