Most objects in space, including stars and
planets, are formed by a process called accretion.
Accretion occurs when small particles in space
attract each other due to gravity, and begin
colliding and clumping into larger particles.
After a long, long time, enough particles merge
together to become the size of a planet or star.
Within the core of the star, high pressures and
temperatures develop. These temperatures and
pressures are sufficient to cause nuclear
fusion to occur, in which two lighter atoms
combine to form a heavier atom, releasing energy.
This process is known as stellar
nucleosynthesis. At the end of a star’s
lifetime, it mostly consists of phosphorus and
Due to gravity, the star contracts further,
reaching even higher temperatures and pressures,
which causes a process called silicon
burning to occur. Silicon burning creates even
heavier elements, which are eventually ejected
into the universe as the star explodes.
So, the dust that was incorporated into the
star is eventually ejected into space, most likely
as silicon or a heavier element.
Just like most organisms on Earth, stars have
life cycles. Smaller stars have more peaceful
deaths and what used to be the star turns into
planetary nebula, which are beautiful and
if you've never seen a picture of one, they're
worth looking up! Larger, more massive stars on
the other hand, have violent deaths. They undergo
a supernova and explode, scattering their
star dust, called supernova remnant, far
into space around them. This star dust may
eventually be used to create new stars, completing
Depending on which state the star is and how far
away the dust is from the star, the dust may be
pulled to form the star, or they could become
planets, comets, or remain as dust.
They get ionized into a plasma that makes
up the star. There are differences in the nuclear
physics of what happens inside stars depending on
how much of the elements that make up dust (mainly
carbon, oxygen, and silicon) that went into the
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