The Lives of Stars

The ninth episode of Cosmos dealt with some very small objects (atoms), very big numbers (a googolplex), and some heavy objects (cores of neutron stars). In between these highlights Dr. Sagan introduced views to the way atoms are formed, the ninety-two natural elements, and what they looked like.

From there he went on to talk primarily about the origins of all elements, and discussed at length how stars are born, live, and eventually die. He spoke about our Sun's death in about five billion years, and what we would expect to see if anybody was actually on the earth. This in turn led him to talk about other types of stars and how if they were certain magnitudes bigger than our sun their ultimate fates were quite different. For example we are destined to have a white dwarf (the sun the size or the earth) at the centre of what is left of our solar system, but other stars those twice times will produce neutron stars (a sun shrunk to the size of a city), and three times equals a black hole (a sun that has disappeared completely).

Dr. Sagan goes on then to talk about supernovae and how one was observed on July 4, 1054 by the Chinese in the constellation of Taurus. It is now called the Crab Super nova, and shone for three months. It formed the Crab pulsar.

The episode concluded with him speaking about black holes, and how massive bodies can warp space according to relativity.

Every time I watch this series, I keep wondering why I haven't watched this series before now. With only four more episodes to go, I also have to start thinking about what I'll be posting next.



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