Have you ever wonder about how stars generate the amount of this large energy that we can see billions of light-years away? or how our sun radiating constant energy for 5 billion years? In this blog, we are going to look into the internal process of energy generation in stars ...
What is star ?
Stars are gravitationally-confined thermonuclear-fusion reactors
If we talk about Our SUN or Main sequence star - These stars are in the process of steadily fusing hydrogen to helium and energy transported from core to surface of star via radiative diffusion and/or convection. In layman terms it's process of converting hydrogen to helium.
This thermonuclear fusion has 2 important factor
- The proton-proton (PP) chain
- The CNO cycle
The proton-proton (PP) chain
Now let's look first what happens into PP chain
We essentially turned 4 protons into
- 1 helium nucleus
- 1 positron (this positron will bump into a electron and annihilate, creating a gamma ray\energy!).
- 1 gamma ray (energy!)
- 1 neutrino
For stars heavier than the sun,CNO (carbon-nitrogen-oxygen) cycle of nuclear fusion is the dominant source of energy generation. The cycle results in the fusion of four hydrogen nuclei (1H, protons) into a single helium nucleus (4He, alpha particle), which supplies energy to the star in accordance with Einstein’s equation. Ordinary carbon,12C, serves as a catalyst in this set of reactions and is regenerated. Only relatively low energy neutrinos are produced in this cycle.
In layman terms it is also process of converting H to He with using Carbon.
I am pretty sure you get clear idea about how star create energy , Now this is most introductory process for any star in universe but you are aware about when star end its life it will blast out heavy elements (example - iron, magnesium) so how it's produce ?For that you go to my friend's blog article