Listen&Learn: How Stars Die

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn what happens at the end of a star’s life.
How stars die

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • dense: having a lot of mass packed into a small space
  • celestial: related to space
  • massive: having a large mass
  • implode: to collapse inwards
  • supernova: the violent collapse of a dying star
  • galaxy: a group of stars and other celestial objects held together by gravity

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

All stars die , but different stars can die in very different ways. Our Sun is a medium-sized star. That means that when the Sun dies, it will simply turn into something called a white dwarf. White dwarves are small, dense celestial objects that contain the matter left over from stars. However, some stars are much more massive than our Sun, and their deaths are much more . When a massive star gets older, it starts to cool down. This is because the star is using up the last of its . Once the star has no fuel left, it will implode. This implosion is called a supernova. The event is so bright that if a star in our galaxy caused a supernova, we could possibly see it from Earth. The force of a supernova causes the star’s mass to be compressed into a very small space with an incredibly strong gravitational pull. This is called a black hole, and it is so that nothing can escape from it.

Comprehension questions

1. When our Sun dies, it will become

Correct! Wrong!

When our Sun dies, it will become a white dwarf.

2. As stars get older, they start to

Correct! Wrong!

As stars get older, they start to cool down.

3. A space with a gravitational pull that nothing can escape is called

Correct! Wrong!

A space with a gravitational pull that nothing can escape is called a black hole.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Scientists believe that over 1,000 years ago, ancient civilizations witnessed a bright supernova. Now, scientists are observing a dying star called Betelgeuse, which may go supernova soon. Do you think it’s possible that we could see a supernova in our lifetime?

Transcript

All stars die eventually, but different stars can die in very different ways. Our Sun is a medium-sized star. That means that when the Sun dies, it will simply turn into something called a white dwarf. White dwarves are small, dense celestial objects that contain the matter left over from dead stars. However, some stars are much more massive than our Sun, and their deaths are much more violent. When a massive star gets older, it starts to cool down. This is because the star is using up the last of its fuel. Once the star has no fuel left, it will implode. This implosion is called a supernova. The event is so bright that if a star in our galaxy caused a supernova, we could possibly see it from Earth. The force of a supernova causes the star’s mass to be compressed into a very small space with an incredibly strong gravitational pull. This is called a black hole, and it is so powerful that nothing can escape from it.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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