View Full Version : Why is it important to study how Stars die?

2014-Dec-03, 10:44 PM
Hi everyone!

We are all fascinated by those twinkly stars that shine above us against the black backdrop of the night sky. We know why it is important to study how Stars are formed. They tell us about the early universe, they tell us how old the universe is. But the question is 'Why is it important to study what happens during and after the death of a Star?' They become white dwarfs and then it cools if its a light star, if it is heavier, it becomes a neutron star and may collapse in a Supernova. If they are heavy enough, the become a black hole. and thats that.

Why do people study the death of Stars?


2014-Dec-03, 11:37 PM
Several reasons.

Stars died before we were here and their elements formed part of our Solar System, Earth, and ultimately us. So by studying the deaths of stars we learn about how we got here.

The Sun will die someday, as will stars around us. Nearby hypernovae may impact us directly as gamma ray bursts. So by studying how stars die we learn more about our future.

The process of stars dying teaches us about physics in ways that we cannot replicate on Earth. So by studying them we may learn more about the universe.

2014-Dec-04, 02:08 AM
Would be nice to be able to predict, well in advance, when our Sun, and nearby stars, are gonna cause problems, so we will know when to leave, and where to avoid.

2014-Dec-04, 06:27 AM
...they become neutron stars, black holes, or supernovae, or perhaps all three? The 'three fates' are theories, not hard facts. We keep studying them because we want to confirm or disprove our theories. It is possible stars must supernova to become neutron stars - it is also possible that there are naked black holes out 'there'; and it would be good to avoid them. This whole field is immature; and we have yet to learn will fill volumes.

2014-Dec-11, 02:52 AM
It's objective to study a phenomenon throughout it's existence. A dying star might not seem to us as vital or revealing as a younger one but they represent a common feature in the universe. I find there's something ghostly about older stars (as in globulars)...