Onion Death

Onion death is actually a process of star-evaluation into a black hole! But why onions? Let me explain! 

As you probably know the Sun will never become a black hole because it is not massive enough. And as a result it is not hot enough. 

While you are reading this text, the Sun is burning out its hydrogen fuel. When it is finished (not reading, but running out of fuel I mean), all hydrogen transforms into helium. To make long story short 4 * hydrogen atoms = 1 helium atom. 

And what’s next? Will helium atoms be involved in further nuclear fusion? Will they create other elements out of themselves? Well, it depends. It depends on the mass of a particular star. For example, our Sun that is pretty big is still too small to power up the next stage of nuclear fusion. It’s like in business. You can get huge dividends, but you need to invest first. Our Sun doesn’t have enough energy to invest, a poor thing.

However, there are a lot of big fish in the world of stellar business. Let the star be just 20 * times heavier than the Sun and it will invest its energy and just received helium into the next stage of nuclear fusion business and get carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Basically it will receive more and more different elements as dividends. But this process is not a chaotic creation of everything at the same time. A heavy star undergoes nuclear fusion step by step. New elements are stored in the star in onion-like layers. That’s where the first part of “onion death” comes from. What about the second?

“I’ve got a lot of carbon now,” a star says to itself starting to feel like a superstar. “I should proceed!”

And it invests again and gets magnesium and aluminum, and so on and so forth.

As it usually happens in business, our star makes the only wrong decision. “I should invest into nuclear fusion again and get some iron!”

And it is a bad investment. Oh, really it is! The point is that while producing iron our star investor spends more energy than receives in the end. So, internal pressure that tries to expand the star reduces, while the powerful gravity that tries to contract the star remains the same. Our poor star starts to squeeze. The smaller is its radius the bigger is its gravity. The bigger is gravity the faster the star undergoes contraction until… puff!!! The star becomes so dense, and its gravity increases so much that even light can’t escape. That’s it! Meet a newborn black hole!

Dream big!

Make good investments! 

Stay away from black holes! At least untill the time we learn how to use them.

* I had a bad headache trying to figure out what is the minimum mass of a star to collapse into a black hole! So, don’t take me at my word please. You can find variations of 3 to 20 solar masses all over the Internet. I took NASA’s information. But it seems to me that no one knows exactly. We haven’t performed such experiments. Yet.

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