There are many different types of stars, differentiated by their size, temperature, and other characteristics. Our Sun, for example, is a yellow dwarf. Hypergiants can be 100-150 times bigger by mass than our Sun and hundreds of times bigger in volume. Colors can range from blue to red. In addition, stars go through a life cycle – in remote future, the Sun will be a red giant and then a white dwarf as it burns through its available fuel. The remnants of dead stars are very different as well – besides the white dwarfs, you get neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes. And don’t forget binary stars that orbit each other or variable stars whose brightness changes.
Not exactly. The Sun is what is called a “Main Sequence Star”, like most of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and will have a long life because its size doesn’t force it to use up all of its energy rapidly to keep it from collapsing in on itself due to its own gravity.
There are many other types of stars:
A Protostar is a collapsed cloud of gas molecules. It is the state of a star before it becomes a star.
A T-Tauri Star is a young star, and this state of star happens just after the protostar phase and before the main-sequence phase.
A Main-Sequence Star, again, is the type of the majority of stars in our galaxy. A star spends 80% of its life in the main-sequence phase.
After that phase, the star burns out its hydrogen and becomes a Red Giant. In this phase, the star can grow up to 100 times its main-sequence size.
When the star is depleted of hydrogen its gravity causes it to collapse, and it becomes a White Dwarf. It no longer makes any fusion reactions and will slowly cool down.
Other types of stars:
Red Dwarfs: Main-sequence stars that are much smaller and cooler than our Sun.
Neutron Stars: If a main-sequence star has a certain mass (between 1.35 and 2.1 times the mass of the Sun), instead of expanding in the Red Giant phase, it will erupt in a Supernova. The remaining core will be composed entirely of neutrons, hence the name.
Supergiant Stars: Huge stars with a short lifespan because of the immense force of gravity pulling them to collapse. They must burn fuel at a much faster rate to stay in equilibrium, and when that fuel burns out, they completely disintegrate in supernovas or leave a Black Hole.
Black Hole: a point in space where matter is compacted so tightly together that its gravity is incredibly strong. Within a certain distance from the black hole, called the Event Horizon, not even light can escape the gravitational pull. This is why they appear black.
Birth of a Star (taken from Wikipedia).
Here is a relatively simple answer. The sun is an average-sized star, right in the middle of its life-cycle. There are much much bigger stars, some of which are called red giants, that are nearing the end of their life cycle. Most stars become red giants as they get older and can no longer balance the elements in their core. This process causes a star like our sun to expand a great deal, in an effort to try and cool itself to balance out a dying, unstable core. Red giants, after a relatively short life, contract and become white dwarfs, which are (relatively) small, hot stars on the verge of death. Some very large stars, much larger than our sun, never become white dwarfs, but rather explode into a supernova of light, gas and dust, materials that will eventually form new stars and planets.
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