Worksheet: Stellar Evolution

In this worksheet, we will practice describing how stars of different masses develop over the course of billions of years.

Q1:

List the following stages of stellar evolution in order for a certain star that has a mass of 80% of the Sun:

  1. A white dwarf
  2. A nebula
  3. A red giant
  4. A main sequence star
  5. A protostar
  • Ab, a, d, c, e
  • Bb, e, d, c, a
  • Cb, c, d, e, a
  • Db, e, c, d, a
  • Ed, e, b, c, a

Q2:

For approximately how long does a star like the Sun remain a main sequence star?

  • A100 million years
  • B100 billion years
  • C10 million years
  • D10 billion years
  • E1 trillion years

Q3:

Which of the following is the correct description of a black dwarf star?

  • AA black dwarf star is an extremely dense object that is made up only of neutrons.
  • BA black dwarf star is an object that has been left after a supernova in which all of the matter has been compressed into a single point. The gravitational field is so strong that not even light can escape.
  • CA black dwarf star is a type of star that is not massive enough to trigger nuclear fusion in its core, and so the only light it emits comes from its heat.
  • DA black dwarf star is a white dwarf star that has cooled so that it no longer emits any light.
  • EA black dwarf star is a type of star that only emits gamma radiation and does not emit any visible light.

Q4:

Which of the following is the correct description of a nebula?

  • AA nebula is a collection of billions of stars.
  • BA nebula is a dense object that is made up only of neutrons.
  • CA nebula is a collection of galaxies.
  • DA nebula is a cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy.
  • EA nebula is a fast-spinning neutron star.

Q5:

The diagram shows nine possible stages in the evolution of a star. For a star that will eventually become a neutron star, give the correct stages in the correct order, starting from a nebula.