Star failure

The formation of a star starts out as a cloud of dust and gas. Gravity takes hold of this cloud causing it to become more and more dense until it finally starts a nuclear fusion core igniting a star. In the article “Brown Dwarfs: Failed Stars Resembling Planets” on, it explains that some stars don’t quite make it to become actual stars. Instead, the cloud of dust and gas lacks the mass in order for it to ignite its nuclear fusion core. These stars are called Brown Dwarfs, or what scientists call failed stars. For normal stars, gravity pushes inward until hydrogen fusion is jump-started in their core. But for Brown Dwarfs this does not happen, temperatures don’t reach hot enough temperatures to allow hydrogen to fuse. Brown Dwarfs are 13 to 90 times the mass of Jupiter and around a tenth the mass of the sun. These stars give off so little light and energy that they are hard to find. The reason why Brown Dwarfs are not considered planets is because they give off their own light, even though its faint. Stars give off energy from there nuclear fusion cores, meaning when protons in their centers collide and fuse together, they produce energy in light rays. Heat and light go to the surface of the star which is why they seem to be so bright and luminous.

In class, there was a slide on the projector that showed the process by which nuclear fusion occurred. Hydrogen protons fused together to form Helium, then to form even more complex protons each time giving off energy in the form of light rays. The first elements came from stars and thats why when you hear that we are made up of star stuff, its basically true since stars create elements through proton fusion. This article is linked back to conceptual objective 13 I can describe how stars form and produce energy in their cores by nuclear fusion. It explains how stars form and what are the exact needs for a star to produce energy to actually be considered a star. Brown Dwarfs are stars but just don’t create enough energy to be a “real” star.

I enjoyed reading this article because I learned about Brown Dwarf stars and how they are considered to be failure stars. It helped me understand more about nuclear fusion in stars and how it is a crucial state in the formation of a star because it ignites the core allowing it to produce enough energy to be considered a star.


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