About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Birth and Life of Stars chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
Emission, dark and reflection nebulae
|Main sequence, dwarf stars, giant stars|
Definition of nebula and the characteristics of these three types
How the interstellar medium helps form stars
|Definition of interstellar medium, interstellar dust, spectroscopy, interstellar extinction|
Role of the interstellar medium in star formation, molecular clouds, shock wave, protostar, cocoon
|Wednesday|| Young stellar objects and protostellar disks|
Young stars and associations
|Definition of young stellar objects and protostellar disks, bipolar flows|
A look at young stars and associations
|Thursday|| Nuclear fusion and star formation|
Forces that keep stars in a stable equilibrium
|Stellar structure and nuclear fusion, hydrogen nuclei|
Luminosity, hydrostatic equilibrium
|Friday||How stars generate energy||White dwarfs, nuclear fusion, proton-proton chain, strong and weak force, neutrino, positron|
1. Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars
Learn how stars are born, beginning with a protostar. Then learn about stars in later stages of life, including main sequence stars, brown dwarfs, red giants, and black holes.
2. What is the Interstellar Medium?
We'll explore something known as the interstellar medium, the birthplace of stars around our universe. You'll learn what it is made of, what interstellar dust is, and why it is there in the first place.
3. Emission, Dark, and Reflection Nebulae
Did you ever hear about the famous Horsehead Nebula? Do you know why it looks dark like that and why the colors around it are such a pretty pink and blue? You'll definitely find out in this lesson as we explore emission, reflection, and dark nebulae!
4. How Does the Interstellar Medium Help Form Stars?
This lesson will describe how the interstellar medium plays a role in the earliest phases of the formation of stars. We'll define what a protostar is, how gravity is important, and what a cocoon is in an astronomical sense.
5. Young Stellar Objects and Protostellar Disks
Birth lines, bipolar flows, protostellar disks, and young stellar objects. What do these have to do with star formation? How do they clue us into planetary formation? Check this lesson out for that and lots more info.
6. Young Stars & Stellar Associations
This lesson will describe the concept of a stellar association for you and how it differs from a star cluster. You'll also learn about the three general kinds of stellar associations: R associations, T associations, and OB associations.
7. Nuclear Fusion & Star Formation
This lesson will explain how the processes of stellar formation leads to nuclear fusion. We'll also define nuclear fusion and hydrostatic equilibrium, and find out why temperature is so important to all of this.
8. Forces Keeping Stars in a Stable Equilibrium
This lesson will outline for you the forces and properties that keep stars stable. They include temperature, pressure, gravity, density, and nuclear reactions.
9. How Stars Generate Energy
This lesson will tell you how the sun generates energy, energy that depends on much more than the superficial notion of nuclear fusion. We'll delve deeply into this process by exploring protons, positrons, gamma rays, and a whole lot more!
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