The red giant star Betelgeuse: red giants are stars that have exhausted
their Hydrogen fuel and are burning Helium and heavier elements.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA, Hubble Space Telescope Institute
Creating Elements up to Iron
When the temperature in the core of a star is really hot (100 million degrees Kelvin!) fusion
of Helium into Carbon happens. Oxygen is also formed when the temperature is this high.
When it gets even hotter in the core of the star other elements can be formed. These elements are Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Silicon, Nickel, Cobalt and Iron. Have you ever heard of any of these elements? (hint: Sodium is found is something you eat...).
Movies courtesy of University of Oregon
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