Star Cluster Hodge 301. Photo courtesy of NASA. Public domain.

Black hole:
the result of a massive star collapsing. Gravity acts so strongly on black holes that nothing can escape it.

Brown Dwarf:
Collection of matter that could not achieve nuclear fusion.

cloud of gas that is beginning the process of nuclear fusion.

Main Sequence:
Longest part of a star's lifespan. Stars with larger mass have shorter main sequences. Stars with smaller mas have longer main sequences.

: vast, cold cloud of interstellar gas and dust

Nuclear Fusion: the process that forms stars, when H and He combine to create heavier and heavier elements. 

Neutron stars: One of the last stages of a mid-sized star. Neutron stars have a core of densely-packed neutrons.

Red giant:
Stage in a star's lifespan in which it burns helium instead of hydrogen.

Solar Nebula Theory
: theory that our solar system formed as a nebula of gas & dust began to collapse approximately 4.5 billion years ago

Another name for a red giant. Supergiants are larger than red giants.

violent, luminous explosion or death of a very massive star

White Dwarf:
Stage in which a star stops fusion. White dwarfs can have high temperatures, but they produce less light than a star in main sequence.
Last modified: Tuesday, 20 September 2011, 10:47 AM