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Hot Stars: Live fast, Die young

During their short but energetic lives, stars with masses many times that of the sun light up galaxies like our Milky Way through their high luminosities and intense radiation fields.
Unlike the sun — which will shine for some 5 billion more years – such massive stars exhaust their fuel fast (or well, at least within a few million years), after which they end their lives by being blown away in giant supernova explosions. Together with the stellar winds discussed below, these supernovae disperse nuclear-processed heavy elements into interstellar space and thereby chemically enrich the sites where the next generation of stars and planets are formed.
The evolutionary paths of these stars toward their final destiny, however, are highly regulated by the huge amounts of mass that are being driven away from their surfaces. Indeed, a very massive star born with 100 solar masses or above may through stellar winds shed much more than half of this during its lifetime.
And once it has stopped burning, which of the many types of astronomical supernovae it then explodes as — e.g. as a hydrogen-poor or hydrogen-rich one, or perhaps as a pair-instability supernova, or perhaps even as a hypernova emitting fiercely in highly energetic gamma-rays – depends critically on the quantitative amount of mass that has been lost until the time of explosion.

But of course, the most important thing for YOU to realize, is that the hot stars I study actually not are those above, but those below:

During their short but energetic lives, stars with masses many times that of the sun light up galaxies like our Milky Way through their high luminosities and intense radiation fields. Unlike the sun — which will shine for some 5 billion more years — such massive stars exhaust their nuclear fusion-fuel fast (or well, at least within a few million years), after which they end their lives by being blown away in giant supernova explosions. Together with the stellar winds discussed below, these supernovae disperse nuclear-processed heavy elements into interstellar space and thereby chemically enrich the sites where the next generation of stars and planets are formed.

The evolutionary paths of these stars toward their final destiny, however, are highly regulated by the huge amounts of mass that are being driven away from their surfaces. Indeed, a very massive star born with 100 solar masses or above may through stellar winds shed much more than half of this during its lifetime. And once it has stopped burning, which of the many types of astronomical supernovae it then explodes as — e.g. as a hydrogen-poor or hydrogen-rich one, or perhaps as a pair-instability supernova, or perhaps even as a hypernova emitting fiercely in highly energetic gamma-rays – depends critically on the quantitative amount of mass that has been lost until the time of explosion.

Wanna get blown away by StarLight?

– Check out this link for more details (though still suitable for a general audience) on the fascinating starlight-powered winds of hot, massive stars.

And I actually saved this post here as well.