05/03/2018 10:00 am
Artist impression of some possible evolutionary pathways for stars of different initial masses.
Some proto-stars, brown dwarfs, never actually get hot enough to ignite into fully-fledged stars, and simply cool off and fade away.
Red dwarfs, the most common type of star, keep burning until they have transformed all their hydrogen into helium, turning into a white dwarf.
Sun-like stars swell into red giants before puffing away their outer shells into colourful nebula while their cores collapse into a white dwarf.
The most massive stars collapse abruptly once they have burned through their fuel, triggering a supernova explosion or gamma-ray burst, and leaving behind a neutron star or black hole.
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