Star
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Basic Information

A star is an astronomical object which undergoes fusion in its core. A star is composed of plasma and forced into a spherical shape by its gravity. Stars are mostly hydrogen and a little helium for most of their existence; as a large star grows older, it will produce heavier elements (up to iron, in the largest stars) as it runs out of hydrogen to fuse into helium.

Stars that are fusing hydrogen to produce helium are called main sequence stars. This covers most of a star's lifetime. At the end of a star's lifetime, if it is large enough, it may leave the main sequence to become a red giant or even a red supergiant. A smaller red giant, such as one the mass of the Sun, will puff off its outer layers in a planetary nebula, and its core will become a white dwarf (and trillions of years later cool into a black dwarf. A larger star will go supernova; the remnant of its core will become either a neutron star or black hole. For more information, see Stellar Classification.

Though they do not undergo fusion, former stars like white dwarfs and neutron stars are usually considered stars as well.

To generate a star (or star system) and all it's planets, see our Random Planetary System page.

See Also:

Most of the following are classifications or types of stars, but there's a few just generally star-related topics on the list as well.

Sources

Bibliography

Game and Story Use

  • Any interstellar campaign will have to deal with various types of stars.
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