Mastering Astronomy Chapter 17
Terms in this set (37)
Which of the following stars will live longest?
1 solar mass star
What happens to a low-mass star after helium flash?
Its luminosity goes down.
What would you be most likely to find if you returned to the solar system in 10.0 billion years?
A white dwarf
Which of the following lists the stages of life for a low-mass star in the correct order?
protostar, main-sequence star, red giant, planetary nebula, white dwarf
An H-R diagram for a globular cluster will show a horizontal branch—a line of stars above the main sequence but to the left of the subgiants and red giants. Which of the following statements about these horizontal branch stars is true?
They generate energy through both hydrogen fusion and helium fusion.
The ultimate fate of our Sun is to _____.
become a white dwarf that will slowly cool with time
Which of these stars has the hottest core?
a white main-sequence star
Which of these stars does not have fusion occurring in its core?
a red giant
What would stars be like if hydrogen had the smallest mass per nuclear particle?
Nuclear fusion would not occur in stars of any mass.
What would stars be like if carbon had the smallest mass per nuclear particle?
Supernovae would be more common.
What happens to the core of a high-mass star after it runs out of hydrogen?
It shrinks and heats up.
Which of these elements had to be made in a supernova explosion?
What happens when a main-sequence star exhausts its core hydrogen fuel supply?
The core shrinks while the rest of the star expands.
The main source of energy for a star as it grows in size to become a red giant is ______.
hydrogen fusion in a shell surrounding the central core
Which of the following pairs of atomic nuclei would feel the strongest repulsive electromagnetic force if you tried to push them together?
helium and helium
Which of the following stars will certainly end its life in a supernova?
a 10 solar mass star
In order to predict whether a star will eventually fuse oxygen into a heavier element, what do you need to know about the star?
Why is iron significant to understanding how a supernova occurs?
Iron cannot release energy either by fission or fusion.
Which low-mass star does NOT have fusion occurring in its central core?
a red giant
Where does gold (the element) come from?
It is produced during the supernova explosions of high-mass stars.
What do astronomers mean when they say that we are all "star stuff"?
that the carbon, oxygen, and many elements essential to life were created by nucleosynthesis in stellar cores
Which two energy sources can help a star maintain its internal thermal pressure?
nuclear fusion and gravitational contraction
What type of star is our Sun?
Which of the following statements about degeneracy pressure is not true?
Degeneracy pressure varies with the temperature of the star.
What happens when a star exhausts its core hydrogen supply?
Its core contracts, but its outer layers expand and the star becomes bigger and brighter.
What is happening inside a star while it expands into a subgiant?
It is fusing hydrogen into helium in a shell outside the core.
Compared to the star it evolved from, a red giant is
cooler and brighter.
Why does a star grow larger after it exhausts its core hydrogen?
Hydrogen fusion in a shell outside the core generates enough thermal pressure to push the upper layers outward.
How many helium nuclei fuse together when making carbon?
The helium fusion process results in the production of
What happens after a helium flash?
The core quickly heats up and expands.
What is a carbon star?
a red giant star whose atmosphere becomes carbon-rich through convection from the core
What is a planetary nebula?
the expanding shell of gas that is no longer gravitationally held to the remnant of a low-mass star
What happens to the core of a star after a planetary nebula occurs?
It becomes a white dwarf.
Which of the following sequences correctly describes the stages of life for a low-mass star?
protostar, main-sequence, red giant, white dwarf
Compared to the star it evolved from, a white dwarf is
hotter and dimmer.
Which element has the lowest mass per nuclear particle and therefore cannot release energy by either fusion or fission?
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