Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D, is a freelance science writer and former senior editor at HowStuffWorks.
His brief definition of how stars of varying sizes die goes as follows:
"Stars Like the Sun
When the core runs out of hydrogen fuel, it will contract under the weight of gravity. However, some hydrogen fusion will occur in the upper layers. As the core contracts, it heats up. This heats the upper layers, causing them to expand. As the outer layers expand, the radius of the star will increase and it will become a red giant. The radius of the red giant sun will be just beyond the Earth's orbit. At some point after this, the core will become hot enough to cause the helium to fuse into carbon. When the helium fuel runs out, the core will expand and cool. The upper layers will expand and eject material that will collect around the dying star to form a planetary nebula. Finally, the core will cool into a white dwarf and then eventually into a black dwarf. This entire process will take a few billion years.

Stars More Massive Than the Sun

When the core runs out of hydrogen, these stars fuse helium into carbon just like the Sun. However, after the helium is gone, their mass is enough to fuse carbon into heavier elements such as oxygen, neon, silicon, magnesium, sulfur and iron. Once the core has turned to iron, it can burn no longer. The star collapses by its own gravity and the iron core heats up. The core becomes so tightly packed that protons and electrons merge to form neutrons. In less than a second, the iron core, which is about the size of the Earth, shrinks to a neutron core with a radius of about 6 miles (10 kilometers). The outer layers of the star fall inward on the neutron core, thereby crushing it further. The core heats to billions of degrees and explodes (supernova), thereby releasing large amounts of energy and material into space. The shock wave from the supernova can initiate star formation in other interstellar clouds. The remains of the core can form a neutron star or a black hole depending upon the mass of the original star."
Dylan Jensen: Fall 2012

Stars: The End of a Star

Carbon Burning Process

Reviewed by Dylan Jensen: 11/13/12
Author: University of Utah
This page gives an easy to read, accurate description and summary of a star's last phase of existence. It is written for the interested astronomy student in an interactive, picture based form. The page describes the differences between low-mass, medium-mass, and massive stars and gives examples of each. This website also gives easy to find interactive labs via separate links on various topics; These topics are the carbon burning process, what happens to different size stars at the end of their life cycles, and how white dwarfs and neutron stars are formed.

Planets May Have Survived Star's Death

Two hot Earth-sized planets are illustrated orbiting a burned-out star.

Reviewed by Dylan Jensen: 11/13/12
Author: Irene Klotz
Updated: Wed, Dec 21, 2011
This is an excellent article written for the average astronomy enthusiast Some topics discussed involve some general previous knowledge of astronomy but it's easy to read and easy to comprehend for anyone interested in astronomical events. The article discusses two planets that NASA observed (via their Kepler telescope) orbiting very closely to a dying star. It goes on to describe the reasoning behind the scientists thoughts of planetary engulfment by the star when it reached its red giant phase. Finally, the article explains how the planets lost size due to the heat of the expanding sun.

The Spectacle of Star Death

The Sun

Reviewed by Dylan Jensen: 11/19/12
Author: Uploaded by SpaceRip
Updated/Uploaded: Jan 20, 2012
This is not an article, but yet a valuable YouTube video for the aspiring astronomer. The death of a star is broken down into a few easily understandable steps with a multitude of magnificent pictures. The caption reads: "Take a breathtaking journey into the future, five billion years from now, to see the ultimate fate of the Solar System. This gem from HubbleCast showcases stunning Hubble imagery of the death throes of Sun-like stars. The wreckage of these dying stars form the building blocks of new generations of stars".

Star Death

A colorful cosmic ghost, the glowing remains of a dying star called NGC 6369

Reviewed by Dylan Jensen: 11/19/12
Author: European Space Agency
This website give a lot of valuable information to children. The website not only has information in regards to star death, but also about the origins of our solar system, the sun, planets and their moons, and finally comets and meteors. The site is obviously written for a younger, adolescent audience, as it is appropriately called "esa for kids". The website also has interactive labs for children and printable pages for workbooks and so-forth.

Stars Like the Sun Die in a Glorious Display


Reviewed by Dylan Jensen: 11/19/12
Author: STScI - operated by the Association of Universities for research in Astronomy - prepared for NASA under contract NAS5-26555
This is an excellent website that gives a lot of visual pictures of various star deaths. The information on this site is extremely accurate, as the research for the website is funded by NASA. The website has four different well known star deaths that have accompanying pictures and descriptions. These dying stars are Cat's Eye Nebula, Twin-Jet Nebula, Ring Nebula, and Hourglass Nebula. The website gives detailed descriptions for the average astronomy enthusiast as to why stars may die in these different shapes. Some reasons include small companion stars preventing the death to form a ring (as in the Twin-Jet Nebula), and how stars like the Sun puff off their outer layers when they die, as in the Cat's Eye Nebula.

Daisy Gallegos: Spring 2011
external image stardeath.jpg

Double explosion signals star-death

Edit by Daisy

Viewed on May 20, 2011
This website is very useful because it has a lot of different articles and includes the latest news about Stardeath. The website also gives very great descriptions in the article.

From Star birth to Stardeath

Edit by Daisy

Viewed on May 20, 2011
This website gives key and clear facts about star birth to stardeath. It's straight forward and easy to understand. The website is written by "spacewriters" who write about many astronomy topics.

Star death gives insight into black holes

Edit by Daisy

Viewed May 20, 2011
This is a news article about how black holes are created by stardeath. It gives a very detailed description.

A Star's Death Comes to Light

Edit by Daisy

Viewed on May 20, 2011
Chandra X-ray image of Kepler's Supernova Remnant
Chandra X-ray image of Kepler's Supernova Remnant

This an image that is on the website. It shows the youngest supernova, which was caused by a stardeath. It has many facts about supernovas in the galaxy.

Star Death

Edit by Daisy

Viewed on May 20, 2011
This website gives some key facts and also contains three videos of a scientist named Jack Welch from Univ. of California at Berkeley. He describes the meaning of stardeath and other information about it.

Death Star.

The Death Star is hard to look up in Google. If you look up "Death Star" you will receive a lot of information involving Star Wars. So you have to be specific with what your looking at. Example: Google "Death Star".

Star Life & Death
Edit Huy Le
This site gives you a quick overview of star life and death. It shows how the star works from the outer core to the inter core. It includes pictures of the core and how everything works within a star.

Life and Death of Stars
Edit Huy Le
This website gives you basic information on stardeath. This website was made in 2006. There might be updated info on stardeath since 2006 but this is still a good site to get more information about stardeath.

The Cataclysmic Death of Stars
Edit By Huy le

This link was written by Ron Cowen from National Geographic.This information gives you detailed information about the study that Ron did for NG on the Cataclysmic of stardeath. This article describes the extensive research done by Ron Cowen.

The Life and Death of Stars
Edit by Huy Le
This link is very useful to get any information on the life of stardeath. It has some pictures for you to see how it's formed and gives you an overview of stardeath. The pictures really help so you can have some visuals of how stars die. This page was last updated on 4/16/2010, so this information is pretty up to date.

Life Cycle of a Star
( Edit by Huy Le)
This is a good website that gives you info about stardeath. It gives you info about how stardeath works and all its basic info to get started to know things about Star Death.

Daniel Collins is the page editor

Hints for searching Star Death on a search engine: put parenthesis " " around star death, go into advanced option (if available) and exclude any sports associations such as the NBA or NFL, also exclude the words celebrities, famous people, "Star Wars," and "Death Star." This should help to clean up your search but there will always be those annoying sites that come up with nothing to do with what you're looking for, so just avoid wasting your time with them and if you can use key words to exclude them as well.

The Death of Stars

This site is a good starting point It is well laid out with clear links to what you need. The text is clear and to the point, but at times can seem a little vague in some areas. This is where all the different links become very helpful. The site lays out the cycle of star death and how the sizes of a star determines the way it dies. When you click on the link to "Sun-like stars" it gives an easy to follow diagram on the stages of death for those sized stars as well as a description below. The site gives two other links for star sizes, "Huge Stars" and "Giant Stars." The site describes these sizes; huge stars as 1.5 to 3 times the mass of the sun and 3 or more times the mass of the sun for giant stars. One of the drawbacks of this site is that both of these links lead to the same page and only give a slight difference between the two. Overall the site has good, easily readable and well laid out information but is very brief. Couldn't find when it was last updated but copyright is through 2007. Again this site doesn't have everything you need but is a great starting place for your research or for anyone who is just curious and doesn't know much about astronomy. The author is not named. I feel like this site explains all about the death of stars in very easy to understand language.

Life and Death of Stars

This site isn't too bad, but it is not the best site either. It lays out how a few different types of stars die and goes into some detail. I just feel that if you don't have a decent understanding of how and why stars die then you might be kind of lost on the fine details about it. There is a lot of reading with few diagrams and pictures to help. Some of the links in the text take you to other parts of the site that really do help, such as black holes, while others just take you to a short definition, such as neutron stars. I would say that if someone were doing a report that this site would be a good site to go to after they have learned about star death, and would be an especially good site for quotations and little facts. You definitely need to know what your looking for and some other sites for certain details. This site was last updated on September 13, 2006. No author was named. There's a lot of text on this page and it could look overwhelming when you first see it but there is a lot of good information.

Star Death

I really wouldn't recommend this site to anyone looking for general information on star death. Its very short and has very little information. Really the only thing this website would be good for is if you are writing an incredibly in depth report and want to include stellar winds and how they are used to find information on dying stars. Even in that case this is only one example of using this technique. If that is what you need then this site does use a specific star along with images and explanations of what instruments are used and what you are looking at. They have three video files of a professor talking about the subject, but again there isn't much information. Anyone using this site may also want to look for more up to date information as well to see if the information in the site is still valid, because it hasn't been updated since 11/11/95. No specific author is named but the site is copyrighted by the Univ. of Illinois. The link to the site works but the videos on the site do not.

Chronicle Of A Star's Death Foretold

While this site is not about star death in general it is a really good website for research on specific star deaths. This webpage is an article on one specific star in the process of dying and is a good source of up to date information and has links to other articles on the study of dying stars. There is an abundance of information and is intended for those who are somewhat educated on the subject. It may take some extra research to understand everything that the article has to say, but the webpage does have some links to help with that and it would be well worth the effort if you are looking to write a really good in depth paper on star death. The site also has links to other similar articles that are about different and even newly discovered types of star death. Since this is a science news website there will always be new material on it. I did not see any specific author for the article. There is a lot of good information on this site but it is geared towards someone who knows a little about astronomy or has taken a class.

Star Death Questions

Interesting format. This site lays out a number of questions about star death. Then you can click for the answers to each question. I think that this is an extremely good sight to help someone lay out or outline an essay on star death. There is a lot of reading but is ultimately worth it. Though there is not much in this site that you can't find on another site, it does have a lot of the information in one place. The site is really boring with very plain layout but it is efficient and can greatly help with the structure of your paper. The site was created by Cristina Fernandes for Wichita State University as a guide for introductory astronomy students. I couldn't find any indication for when the site was last updated, so before sighting it I would check to see if all the information is still current. This site is very good. It has links to pages about the different stages of star death as well an easy to understand question and answer format.

The following has been added by Irene Craig.
White Dwarf
Viewed: 11-7-09
This may be a long website link, but it is a Google search. It is a full book on everything about white dwarfs. It has things from the discovery of a white dwarf to a model of its atmosphere. I would recommend to look at this site for information about white dwarfs because it’s a place where everything about white dwarfs is covered.

General Star Death
Viewed: 11-7-09
NASA’s overview about how a star dies. It has information about how a star will die due to its mass and contains some details about white dwarfs, black dwarfs and black holes. It’s a good article for a faster review about a stars death. I would recommend this for general information.
Black Dwarfs
Viewed: 11-7-09
This site has links to other articles about black dwarfs. There are many articles and most of them are a pretty short, quick overview about black dwarfs. Also, some of these articles have some other information about other things in the universe.
Brown Dwarfs
Viewed: 11-7-09
Most articles about brown dwarfs are short. This website had more information than most. It has information on what a brown dwarf is, detecting a brown dwarf, distinguishing them from other stars and planets, the different types of brown dwarfs, and where they can be found. It's probably the best sight to find information on brown dwarfs.
Red Giants
Viewed: 11-7-09
There is little information on Red Giants. This site gives general information such as what it is and the temperature and mass. There may be other sites with better and more information, but they are probably connected to other links of a stars death.
external image redgiant.gif
(this site has information on what is a star and different ways a star will die depending on its size)
How Our Sun Will Die
Viewed: 11-7-09
This site is quick information about how our sun will die. It has detail about how, when and why the sun will die.
Viewed: 11-7-09
Briefly explains what a supernova is and gives the names of the different types. There are also supernova story links to give more information in supernovas. It has many different pictures and other information about things in the universe.