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Stellar Evolution Illustrations


Black HoleBlack Hole
Blue GiantBlue Giant
Brown DwarfBrown Dwarf
SupernovaSupernova
Planetary NebulaPlanetary Nebula
ProtostarProtostar

Red GiantRed Giant
White DwarfWhite Dwarf
Type 1A SupernovaType 1A Supernova
Type II SupernovaType II Supernova
Type II SupernovaType II Supernova

Blue SupergiantBlue Supergiant
Blue SupergiantBlue Supergiant
Blue SupergiantBlue Supergiant
Sun-like StarSun-like Star
Red DwarfRed Dwarf
Brown DwarfBrown Dwarf
1. Stellar Evolution with Type 1a Supernova Remnant
This graphic gives a summary of our best current understanding of the evolution of stars, showing their birth, middle age and eventual demise. The lowest mass stars are shown at the bottom and the highest mass stars at the top. The very top line is a relatively recent addition compelled by the detection of SN 2006gy, that describes the evolution of the most massive stars in the universe. Observational evidence for the special type of explosion shown here - which is incredibly bright and obliterates the star rather than producing a black hole - was lacking until SN 2006gy was found. (illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
Field Guide: Stellar Evolution

2. Stellar Evolution
This tableau illustrates the ongoing drama of stellar evolution, and how the rate of evolution and the ultimate fate of a star depends on its weight, or mass. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
Field Guide: Stellar Evolution

Click for large jpg
3. Stellar Fate
The fate of stars depends upon their mass; this illustration depicts how a small, large or extra-large star may develop into white dwarf, neutron star or black hole. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
Field Guide: Stellar Evolution