Compare the density of a white dwarf to a supernova.
9. Referring back to the HR diagram, determine the life stage of the following stars:
Absolute magnitude Temperature (K) Life cycle stage
+ 5 10,000 Answer:
- 7 5,000 Answer:
+ 2 5,000 Answer:
+ 12 25,000 Answer:
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The material in a supernova is definitely much more dense than that of a white dwarf. A white dwarf is the core remains of a star that has burned away most of its hydrogen and helium. The remains of the core of the star starts to collapse in on itself because the force of nuclear fusion has ceased to operate. In the case of the supernova, this is the remains of a more massive star, where more neutrons are present within the core. In some cases, the supernova can convert over to a neutron star, which is so massive, a teaspoon on Earth could weigh tons. Supernova are responsible for many heavy elements past oxygen, which is the normal cutoff for nuclear fusion.
For your star chart, the higher the number, the dimmer the star in magnitude, indicating it is further along in its life cycle. So they should appear in this order, from youngest to oldest: -7, +2, +5, +12. The excessive temperature from the last one indicates the production of a supernova, perhaps, some kind of life-ending production at the end of the stars life.
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