Learn how the life cycles of low-mass and high-mass stars differ, in this video from NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse. Although all stars start by fusing hydrogen into helium, high-mass stars subsequently fuse increasingly massive elements to create elements up to iron. Animations illustrate how the outward pressure from fusion in the star’s core balances the inward force of gravity. In a high-mass star, after it begins to fuse iron, there is not enough outward pressure to remain stable and the star collapses rapidly, creating a supernova. If the core is massive enough, it can collapse to become a black hole. This resource is part of the NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse Collection.
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