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What is a medium star and a massive star?Well I'm learning the life cycle of a star and...

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tamanimat | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted September 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM via web

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What is a medium star and a massive star?

Well I'm learning the life cycle of a star and how it is born. But is a medium star a star bigger than a small star but smaller than a massive star or is it another phase after the red giant? And so on with the massive star

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM (Answer #1)

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It is mostly a function of relative size.  A massive star is about 10 times the size of our sun and a medium star is more like 6 to 8 times the size of our sun.  All stars develop the same until the red giant phase.  At this point medium and massive stars will have different endings to their life cycles.  A medium star will begin to form carbon atoms in its core before entering the white dwarf phase as gravity starts causing it to collapse.  Then it finally ends up as a black dwarf.  A massive star will continue with fusion reactions until iron is produced.  The star will eventually go supernova and become a black hole.

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