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few questions on stars

  • fguihen
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few questions on stars was created by fguihen

from the previous thread on the the movie Sunshine, i have a few questions:

When all the stars have eventually converted all matter to elements too heavy for them to fuse, will that be the end of all stars, or is there some way in which matter may be recycled?

Is there no scenario that allows a star to fuse heavier elemets?
"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.
15 years 10 months ago #44001

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: few questions on stars

Is there no scenario that allows a star to fuse heavier elemets?


Gravitational collapse can then give stars extra energy to fuse Iron, and to produce other heavier elements. This is a very temporary solution which results in a supernova pretty quickly.

Theres no shortage of hydrogen in the universe so there will be stars for a very long time to come. Even the Milky way still has very large High Velocity Clouds of hydrogen floating around it.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
15 years 10 months ago #44002

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Replied by Jared Macphester on topic Re: few questions on stars

When all the stars have eventually converted all matter to elements too heavy for them to fuse, will that be the end of all stars, or is there some way in which matter may be recycled?


In the humble opinion of this author...

Long before this conjecture materializes we will hold different beliefs as to how the universe works and the current beliefs will have joined the "turtles all the way down" hypothesis.

This will also be incorrect.

JMP
15 years 10 months ago #44005

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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: few questions on stars

Except for Hydrogen and Helium and a little Lithium,ALL the other elements in the universe are created in stars.

Ordinary stars cook up elements up to Iron.
(Ligher elements than Iron release energy when being created.)

Elements heavier that Iron are cooked up in Supernovae.
(Heavier elements than Iron soak up energy during their creation. A supernova can supply that colossal energy.)

Thus, to create a Plutonium bomb you split heavy Plutonium atoms (fission) but to create a Hydrogen Bomb (or the Sun) you fuse light Hydrogen atoms (fusion) to create helium.

You release energy in both types of bomb, to put it mildly.

Iron is at the mid-point energy basement, the most stable element.

The creation of elements on either side (of the mass) of Iron thus involves different mechanisms, but the stars do it all.

Any element in the human body heavier than Iron was once blasted out of a Supernova!

Peter.
15 years 10 months ago #44006

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