The Life of Antares

Matthew Ahn

The Birth of Antares

Like every other star, Antares started as a nebula. It was just a large cloud of dust, and then formed into a protostar. Antares, being a red supergiant, came out as a huge nebula and accumulated a large amount of matter. Antares is currently a red supergiant, so it is about in the middle of its lifetime. The larger the star, the shorter the life will be.

Life as a Protostar

The protostar looks like a star, but the core is not hot enough for fusion to happen. Dense regions in the nebula collapse and form this protostar. It is surrounded by a lot of dust that blocks the light, so it is hard to observe.

Main Sequence

A protostar becomes a main sequence star when its core temperature exceeds 10 million K. This temperature is needed for hydrogen fusion to take place. Now from here the hydrogen fuel is starting to be used up... and soon Antares will start to expand.

Becoming a Red Super Giant

The large amount of gas Antares began with contracted until the temperature rose and became hot enough so that nuclear fusion can occur. The star became extremely hot with temperatures between 20,000 and 45,000 degrees C. Then Antares used up its nuclear fuel, and expanded to become a blue supergiant. As the star got older, it started to run out of hydrogen fuel, and the core got more compact. It heated up again and started to burn helium.(Helium burns much hotter than Hydrogen) The heat stretched out the star even more to become a red super giant.
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The Death of Antares

A supergiant has the pressures to fuse carbon into iron. This fusion requires a lot of energy, much more than what the star gives off. So overtime the energy is lost, and the star no longer has the balance between outward pressure and gravity pushing in. This results in gravity winning, and the core collapses into a violent explosion called a supernova. Supernovas are stellar explosions of immense magnitude . Because of the extreme mass of Antares when it goes supernova, it will continue to collapse into a black hole.

Antares Details

Mass- 12.4 M

Temperature- 3200-3600 K

Color- Red (supergiant)

Brightness- 57,500 L