142 Stellar Evolution

This image is an artist’s impression of Sun-like stellar evolution. The star begins as a main-sequence star at the lower left, and then expands through the subgiant and giant phases at the middle, until its outer envelope is ejected to form a planetary nebula, shown at the upper right.
CC BY 4.0 | Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Stellar evolution is the process by which a star experiences a sequence of drastic variations during its stellar life. Depending on the initial stellar mass, this lifetime ranges from a few million years for the most massive to trillions of years for the least massive, which is considerably longer than the age of the Universe at 13.7 billion years.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Introduction to Astronomy Copyright © by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book