Life Cycles of Stars Project
This unit focuses on life as we know it on Earth, and on the possibility of life on other planets. Though no evidence of life has been discovered beyond Earth yet, we continue to look for it on the surfaces of other planets and from signals in the sky.
Refer to the Life Cycles of Stars course project description to ensure that you meet the grading criteria for this project. The project should be comprised of the following five sections and include an introduction, a conclusion, and a reference page. Additional requirements are listed under Submission Requirements and in the project description. Each section should address all of the following topics to demonstrate your understanding of the formation and evolution of life:
Section 1: (2 pages)
• Describe the major processes involved in a star’s birth and initiation of thermonuclear fusion.
• Explain how reactions differ in high mass, intermediate mass, and low mass stars.
Section 2: (4 pages)
• Describe the fates of stars as they leave the main sequence.
• Explain how and why fates of stars differ so dramatically.
• Describe giant and supergiant stars.
• Describe the chemical elements that are produced in their cores and what types of reactions are involved in their production.
• Explain how the color of stars depends on the temperature.
• Describe how the scientific method was applied in determining the source of energy in the Sun and stars.
Section 3: (2 pages)
• Explain degeneracy pressure and its importance to white dwarfs and neutron stars.
• Describe the difference between electron degeneracy pressure and neutron degeneracy pressure.
• Explain the Chandrasekhar limit.
• Describe approximately how much a paperclip made of neutron star matter would weigh on Earth’s surface.
• Describe what type of star (mass, spectral class) can end up as a black hole and the ways astronomers use to spot it.
Section 4: (2 pages)
• Describe the types of stars that may host planets that support life.
• Describe the formation of planetary systems around cool and hot stars.
• References: Include a minimum of three references.
• Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
• APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA (6th ed.) style and formatting.
• Length: Minimum of 10 double-spaced, typed pages.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
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