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Earth Science Rocks! Select one of our four cool NESTA t-shirts from our online store, and express your love of Earth and space science!

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

(Click on the pictures to find out.)

What Happens to Stars About the Same Size as the Sun?

New Stars and Planets

Swells to Red Giant

Outer Layers Blow Off

White Dwarf Left

Cools to Black Dwarf

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

STAGE 1: Main Sequence A star's life begins when nuclear reactions start deep in the core. Hydrogen nuclei are fused to form a helium nucleus. Each helium nucleus has slightly less mass than the hydrogen...more

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

STAGE 2: Red Giant Phase When the star uses up its hydrogen fuel in the core, it can no longer hold up its outer layers. They fall inward. The center gets hotter. The hot temperatures cause the outer...more

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

STAGE 3: The Outer Layers Blow Off As the star expands,the outer layers blow off at an incredible rate. A star can lose more than half of its mass during this stage. The gas cloud surrounding the star...more

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

STAGE 4: White Dwarf When the fuel is used up, there is nothing to hold the star's layers up against gravity and the star begins to collapse. Gravity squeezes the star down into a very small size. As...more

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars

STAGE 5: Black Dwarf White dwarfs are some of the hottest objects in the known universe with temperatures ranging from 30,000 K to 200,000 K. They continue to radiate their immense internal energy into...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects (not just people) radiate in the infrared. Warmer objects give off more infrared radiation. Very hot objects radiate other types of light in addition to infrared. Click on the picture...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA