Stars contain enormous amounts of mass, and
since an object's gravity is determined by its
mass, stars have a great amount of gravity.
In the interior of stars, all the mass pressing
inwards is enormous, so great that smaller atoms
in the center of the star fuse together and form
different, heavier atoms. This process, termed
"fusion," produces a tremendous amount of
energy that pushes in an outward direction,
balancing the inward force of gravity and
preventing the star from collapsing.
Eventually however, the star runs out of
lighter atoms and fusion can no longer take place.
It is a bit like a balloon: the tension in the
balloon walls tries to collapse the balloon, while
the air pressure in the balloon presses outwards
and prevents the balloon's collapse. Stopping
fusion in the star's center is like taking the air
out of a balloon: the star collapses inward.
But in a process that is poorly understood, the
collapse of the star and the great compression of
the star's interior somehow unleashes an amount of
energy that for a brief moment may be greater than
all the energy produced by all the stars in a
galaxy. The release of energy causes the star to
explode outwards in a phenomenon known as a
supernova. The supernova disperses the
stellar material around the galaxy. The material
from multiple supernovae, floating around the
galaxy, will eventually coalesce due to gravity,
and when enough material coalesces, the gravity of
the new object gradually increases until there is
enough pressure in the center of the sun to push
atoms together, fusion begins anew, and the object
is considered a new star, a Sun. Something
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