Our Life and Stars’ Life and Death

When many things are annoying or disappointing, like these years and these days, the science and scientific discoveries, specially discoveries about the universe and the space, can change our mood, and can create a good mood. When you think about the space and the universe, and about billions of galaxies and billions of stars in each galaxy, you can see that we and our planet are just a very very small part of this universe, or “parallel universes” or the Multiverse, and our problems and our small world are really stupider and smaller than what we think. Thinking about the space, the universe, the Multiverse, the life, the starts, or stars’ life and death can be useful, because it really broadens our horizons, and can opens up new horizons, and can show us that we should not take our problems, our small world, our property, or our illusions serious. When you think about the space, the universe, and the real big problems, you can forget daily life and small problems, including your own problems and all human problems. The news about habitable planets or “Super Earth” is always interesting. Recently, the media reported: “A potentially habitable alien planet -one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface- has been found around a nearby star. The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface. The researchers estimate that the planet, called GJ 667Cc, is at least 4.5 times as massive as Earth, which makes it a so-called super-Earth. It takes roughly 28 days to make one orbital lap around its parent star, which is located a mere 22 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Scorpius (the Scorpion). This is basically our next-door neighbor. There are only about 100 stars closer to us than this one”. As we said before, When the scientists talk about the universe, they talk about real things. They talk about the cosmic threats and serious threats that could destroy the humans, the life, and the earth, and it’s different from what the idiots or the religious fanatics say about the End of Times. The scientists talk about “Stars’ Life and Death”, and the natural death or the accidental death of the Sun and the Earth, and what they say is real, not illusion. Now, the humans know that if they want to avoid the fate of dinosaurs, they should try to find new habitable planets and some alternative to the earth. When you know about starts’ life and death, and how our Solar system was born, you can see that our sun and our planet are not unique. What the scientist say about stars and stars’ life and death is very interesting. They say: “Stars, in many ways, are just like people. They are born. They take shape. They go through a turbulent youth, and then they live out their lives in a predictable pattern. And Someday they rapidly decline and die. The Sun is just a star, and like any other star, the Sun is mortal. But how the Sun and the Earth were born? We can look out into space and see new stars being born right now. An enormous, lumpy cloud of cold gas and dust is turning into new stars. The gas is mostly hydrogen; the dust is something like the giant rocks or the dust in a desert storm. Astronomers aren’t in complete agreement on where the clouds themselves come from, but it’s likely that the gas and dust have more than one source. There is the pristine hydrogen gas synthesized in the creation of the universe, during the Big Bang. There is the gas and dust that our galaxy has pilfered from its satellite galaxies, such as the ‘Magellanic stream,’ a streamer of gas ripped out of the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. And there is the gas and dust from previous generations of stars. When stars die, they blow much of their material back into space, where it can form other stars. Stars in the Galaxy are the ultimate recycling machines: They use gas and dust over and over again. When the massive lump of cold dust and gas which became our Sun collapsed, the nuclear forces began to come into play. The weight of all that dust and gas produced great pressure and density at the center, and the friction of the infalling particles released heat. When the temperature in the core reached several million degrees, the hydrogen atoms started to fuse together, forming helium atoms. This released energy, the pressure increased, more atoms fused together, more energy was released, and so on. A chain reaction started that will go on for billions of years. The outward pressure created by this nuclear fusion counterbalanced the inward pressure of gravity, and when the two canceled each other out, the natal lump of dust and gas stopped collapsing. This process took about 100 million years. The Sun was born“. The experts also add: “Although the embryonic Sun slurped up most of the gas and dust from the lump, some crumbs were left over. As this extra material spun around the center, the centrifugal force prevented it from falling into the center. Instead, it flattened into a whirling disc. Astronomers have seen such discs around many young stars. Within these discs, blobs of material clump together into the smallish bodies we call planets, asteroids, and comets. And it this way the earth and other planets were born. The gas, the dust, the rocks, and the elements that you can find them in the Earth and in the whole universe are part of the dead stars and a result of the supernovae explosions and other type of stars’ death. In fact, Oxygen, carbon, iron, and all other elements in our body and our planet, have come from nebulae, supernovae explosions, and the dead stars“, Have you ever asked yourself or your teachers about the origins of the elements that we can find them in the Earth, and where did Iron, carbon, gold and other elements come from?

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The story of Stars’ Life and Death, and the origin and the fate of our universe can be very interesting for all humans, and that’s why Stephen Hawking’s popular books, specially “A Brief History of Time” (1988) were as successful as Madonna’s songs. Thinking and reading about these issues can also help us to forget the problems of our shitty era. The experts say: “Each star represents a nearly endless battle between the forces of gravity and heat. Gravity causes the material of the star to press inward toward its center, raising the density and temperature of the gas (and causing nuclear reactions which release energy), until gravity is balanced by the outward pressure of the superheated gas. The balance, called hydrostatic equilibrium, is maintained as long as the star has fuel to burn. During the major part of their lives, most stars will create their energy by the process of hydrogen fusion -the process of fusing two hydrogen atoms to create one helium atom. Energy is created because a helium atom weighs slightly less than the two hydrogen atoms. Our sun is currently in this stage of converting hydrogen to helium. After about 10 billion years, a normal star (like our sun) has converted approximately 10% of its hydrogen to helium. Although this might seem as though it could still undergo hydrogen fusion for another 90 billion years, this is not the case. There are immense pressures at the core of stars, and it is only because of these pressures that the fusion can occur. Outside of the range of pressures there is still mostly hydrogen, but it cannot be used because the pressures are not high enough to initiate fusion. The helium core begins to contract, and the outer layers expand and cool, glowing redder. The star is now called a Red Giant. At this point, helium fusion begins. The star was previously unable to fuse the helium; however, now that the core has contracted, the added pressure is enough to fuse helium into heavier elements. Simultaneously, hydrogen fusion also occurs at this point in a shell around the helium core, for pressures there have also increased enough for hydrogen to fuse. Life expectancy from here on is about 100 million years. After this time, the red giant is made of mostly carbon. The next fusion process would be to fuse the carbon into iron. The problem in most of stars is that there is not enough pressure in the core to do this. Because the outward pressure of energy is no longer maintained, the core collapses and sends a shockwave outwards, and the star’s outer layers are cast off in a planetary nebula, with the resulting core becoming a white dwarf. The core is made almost of pure carbon (like coal), and glows white because it still possesses a lot of left-over heat. It now also possess much less mass because it has shed its outer layers, and any planets it has would move to much farther orbits or be completely ejected from the system, if they had not been engulfed by the star in the expanded red giant phase. The white dwarf is destined to drift in space for millennia as it slowly cools. Most have an approximate size of the Earth (8,000 km diameter), and has a density such that a matchbox’s worth would weigh about as much as an elephant. It has a maximum weight of 1.4 solar masses. As it cools, it will grow dimmer, and will eventually become a black dwarf – a frozen lump of carbon floating though space”. It’s like the fate of our sun, but a star with a mass much greater than that of the Sun will form, live, and die more quickly than our sun. The reason for this is greater mass is equal to more gravity, greater pressures and a faster fusion rate. The experts say: “After about 10 to 15 million years (versus over 10 billions for a main sequence star), a Supergiant’s core has turned to carbon and has swollen into a Red Supergiant. The reason it glows red is that since its outer layers have expanded, it has a much greater volume to heat, yet is only producing the same amount of energy. Thus, it is naturally cooler, and glows red. The difference at this point between a supergiant and a main sequence star is that a supergiant has the pressures needed to fuse carbon into iron. However, this fusion process takes energy, rather than gives it. So, as energy is lost, the star no longer possesses the balance between outward pressure and gravity pushing in. As a result, gravity wins out, and the core collapses in a violent explosion called a Supernova. The path here is also divided as to what the final outcome of the star will be. If the star is less than about nine (but more than 1.4) solar masses, the core will collapse into a Neutron Star – a star made entirely of neutrons. If the star possesses more mass, it will continue to collapse into a Black Hole – a point of theoretically infinite density that possesses such a strong gravitational pull that not even light can escape its pull”.

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The experts add: “Exploding violently and rapidly as a Supernova, creating even heavier elements, and spewing much of the stellar material into space, is what many Supergiant stars did, and maybe still do, for us and our universe during their short life. In other cases, a star’s death was slower; instead of an explosion, elements from the star’s interior zones rose to the surface and were then lost to space when the outer layers blew off. The end results were similar: the space between the stars was enriched with heavy elements, many of which condensed to form small solid grains. The processes of the birth and death of stars occurred over and over again, with each successive generation of stars starting off with a greater quantity of heavy elements than the previous
generation
. One way to compare stars is to make a graph of their brightness vs. temperature. Such a graph (like the one seen in above picture) is called a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, or simply an H-R diagram. The classes are (from hottest to coolest) O, B, A, F, G, K, M, and each is subdivided into 10 subclasses, numbered 0 to 9. Our Sun is a G2 star. If you study the H-R diagram, you will see a pattern. The line down the middle is called the Main Sequence. The detailed studies show that about 90% of stars are Main Sequence, 9% are white dwarfs, and 1% are giants. The Main Sequence represents the major portion of a stars lifetime (its adulthood), when its burning hydrogen (H) into helium (He). The defining characteristic of each star is its mass. Mass determines what size, temperature and spectral class it will be on the Main Sequence. It also determines how much fuel it has, how long it will live, and what kind of death it will have. G stars, like our sun, have a lifetime about 10 billion years, while K stars can have a lifetime more than 100 billion years. M stars and Red dwarfs, that are the only active type of dwarf (other types are brown, white, and black), range between 1/3 and 1/12 the sun’s mass, and shine only 1/100 to 1/1,000,000 as brightly. Red dwarfs, because of their small size, undergo fusion much less quickly than a solar mass star. Therefore, they use up their supply of hydrogen much less quickly than a main sequence star, and can live for more than 100 trillion years !. When they die, they simply wink out of existence, for they do not have enough pressure to fuse helium. Thus, they simply grow dimmer and cooler as they float through the void of space”. It’s very interesting that Red dwarfs can live for more than 100,000 billions years, while our Universe is just 14 billion years. Maybe, our universe can live for more than 100,000 billions years, while our Sun only can live for 5 billion year. If we can find some habitable planets near Red dwarfs, they are good alternatives. Just imagine a world that can live for more than 100,000 billions years, and the humans that can live for more than 1 million years, not just 100 years. But do you think it would be a better world? and could we be happier and more satisfied? with the stupid politicians and the sick bastards, the world would be as shitty as today! Even if each group of humans can have their own planet, the politicians and the sick people can attack other planets. So, we should try to get rid of the politicians and the sick people, and it’s possible. We should try to find a cure for “shortsightedness” and “narrow-mindedness” disease, and we should try to find a cure for “repeating history” disease. It’s possible, if the humans can find a way for transferring the knowledge, the wisdom, and the human legacies through their genes, and if the humans could inherit “cultural evolution” and “human legacy” from their parents. It’s not impossible, and we would write more about it later. The experts say: “In the 14 billion years since the Universe began, not a single M class star has run out of fuel. Our Sun, at 4.5 billion years old, is only about halfway through its main sequence life. But the largest stars, live only a million years or so. When such large stars exhaust all the fuel in their cores, they explode in a supernova, temporarily shining billions of times brighter than normal stars. Every now and then, the scientists observe a supernova that is a great cosmic event”. Since the ancient time, when the people look at the night sky they think about many real and unreal things. Our ancestors were so ignorant and didn’t know the true meaning of what they saw, and just felt lonely, insecure, or fear and tried to fool themselves and calm themselves by stupid illusions and talking nonsense about the universe and the life. But now, when we look at the sky, or at the real photos of Earth, like Cassini’s photo of Earth in 2005, we still have almost the same feelings, and many really feel lonely, insecure, or fear, but at least the wise people don’t talk nonsense about the universe and the life. They think about the real solutions for real problems, and try to forget small and stupid problems of this shitty life and this shitty world.

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Cosmologists believe that the universe was created about 14.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang. So, our universe is young, because some starts can live for more than 100,000 billions years. Looking at the night sky, or the real photos of Earth, and thinking about the space, the universe, and other starts and other intelligent beings can calm you or can scare you. I think if you are pessimistic, it can scare you, and if you are optimistic, it can calm you and can make you happy. But being pessimistic about the universe, or other intelligent beings doesn’t seem reasonable. There are many many unknown things that we should know them in the future, and I think most of them will make us happier. Why not? 2000 years ago, the people thought that the earth is center of the world, and the earth or their race is the most important things in the whole world, but these stupid illusions were not equal to happiness. Now, we know that our galaxy has billions of starts and our sun is just one of them, and there are billions of galaxies in the universe and our galaxy is just one of them, and maybe there are many other universe like our universe, but these facts don’t sadden us. We are really happier than our ancestors, who lived with shamans, brutal dictators, slaveholders, barbarians, and the majority of ultra-stupid people, and suffered form many wars, many diseases, many illusions, and many disasters that we don’t suffer form them now. We live in a more real world, and we have more real solutions for our problems, and we are really happier and wiser than our ancestors. So, the future generations could be happier and wiser than us. I wish I could live in the future, in 1 million years or 10 millions year later, or at least in 10 thousands years later. The future will be better than today, as this shitty world is better than 200 years ago or 10,000 years ago. I wish that I could live in a modern world without any border and any political division. I wish I could live in a world with more wise people. I wish I could live in a modern world that the people could live where they want to live, not where they were born or where the politicians want. I wish I could live in a world that the people could live with those who have a lot in common with them, not with those who are called “countrymen”, but often you have almost nothing in common with them. I wish I could live in a world without politicians and without the majority who live like sheep. I’m sure that these dreams are not impossible dreams, and one day the humans will realize them . In the past centuries, many people wanted to live in a world like our today’s world, i.e. a world without slavery, savagery, periodic wars, epidemic diseases, horrible discrimination, etc, but at that time many said that these dreams are impossible dreams; for instance, they said: “slaves should always be slave, because their parents are slaves”. Anyway, I think one day, the humans will live in other planets, and will find other intelligent beings. The experts say: “A super-Earth is an extra-solar planet with a mass higher than Earth’s. Planets above 10 Earth masses are termed giant planets. The first super-Earths were discovered around a pulsar in 1992. The first super-Earth around a normal star was discovered by a team in 2005. And in 2007, two new super-Earths were discovered on the edge of the habitable zone around a star where liquid water may be possible on the surface”. As you see, it’s jut the beginning of a long road, and in the future, maybe 1000 years or 10,000 years later, the humans could find many habitable planets and could go there and live there. But now we just can see the first signs of a possible future. In December 2011, the media reported: “NASA’s Kepler Mission has discovered the first super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone of a star similar to the Sun. Researchers have discovered what could be a large, rocky planet with a surface temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius, comparable to a comfortable spring day on Earth. The host star lies about 600 light-years away from us toward the constellations of Lyra and Cygnus. The star, a G5 star, has a mass and a radius only slightly smaller than that of our Sun, a G2 star. As a result, the host star is about 25% less luminous than the Sun. The planet orbits the G5 star with an orbital period of 290 days, compared to 365 days for Earth, at a distance about 15% closer to its star than Earth from the Sun. This results in the planet’s balmy temperature. It orbits in the middle of the star’s habitable zone, where liquid water is expected to be able to exist on the surface of the planet. Liquid water is necessary for life as we know it, and this new planet might well be not only habitable, perhaps even inhabited”. And recently, the media reported: “Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has confirmed that GJ 1214b, an extroplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light years from Earth, is basically a big hot watery cauldron covered in a thick, steamy atmosphere. A huge fraction of GJ 1214b’s mass is made up of water”. The human dreams can create a better world and a better future. The future will be better than today and this shitty world, and it’s not just a stupid baseless optimism. It’s what the human history and the world history show us.

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